Koji Uehara

John Farrell: 'Growing concern' Red Sox closer Koji Uehara won't be ready for Opening Day

John Tomase
March 24, 2015 - 10:45 am

It's looking more and more like Koji Uehara won't be ready to start the season. Speaking to reporters in Jupiter on Tuesday morning, Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that the closer, who is battling a hamstring strain, is running out of time to be ready for the opener in Philadelphia on April 6. "I think with each passing day he's not in a game, there's growing concern, concern in the sense, will he be ready for April 6?" Farrell said. "And we're just working through that." This is an about-face for the Red Sox, since Farrell said over the weekend that he fully expected Uehara to be ready for the opener. The closer himself believed he could jump right into the big leagues without throwing another pitch this spring, but the Red Sox would like to see him get more work. "I think it's important to see him in games, to evaluate the stuff," Farrell said. "For Koji himself to understand what he has in the moment and what he goes to the mound with from a physical standpoint." If Uehara isn't ready to start the year, Farrell has suggested that Edward Mujica could see save opportunities, with right-hander Alexi Ogando a darkhorse. The team still believes that Uehara's injury won't sideline him for long. The 39-year-old right-hander played long toss on Tuesday and the hope is that he can throw a bullpen later this week. For more on concerns over Uehara, check out this story.