Koji Uehara

Observations on Game 3: Henry Owens up and down, Koji Uehara struggles, Garin Cecchini recalls nasty allergic reaction

John Tomase
March 06, 2015 - 11:47 am
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Quick observations after a 5-3 loss to the Marlins at JetBlue Park: KOJI STRUGGLES: Closer Koji Uehara made his debut in the third inning and allowed a lot of loud contact for a single, two doubles and a run, not that he's sweating it. "I'm not even looking at my location or anything, I'm just trying to get my innings in," Uehara said through an interpreter. "Just being on the mound and being able to repeat my pitches. I think I was able to do that." At this point in spring, there's little point in paying much attention to results, and with his 40th birthday closing in, there's no reason for Uehara to push the envelope. UP AND DOWN FOR OWENS: Prized left-hander Henry Owens tossed two very different innings en route to the loss. He struck out two in his first inning of work, then was touched for three hits and two runs in his second. "You don'€™t make too much out of it," manager John Farrell said. "First time out, I thought he threw a couple of breaking balls to some left-handers that had good depth and finish to them, and that has always been a development pitch for him. He throws the ball over the plate. He'€™s a strike thrower with quality stuff. I think the more we see him against major league hitters, that'€™s the primary goal in camp for Henry.'€ The big blow off Owens was an RBI triple by Jordany Valdespin. TWO SIDES OF HANLEY: Left fielder Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-3 with another crushed double. He also continued to play left field tentatively, content to cede in-between balls to center fielder Mookie Betts. "His early-work BP has been outstanding," Farrell said. "He hits the ball as hard as anyone. He got a little bit of a cutter up in the strike zone, stayed on it. He'€™s certainly a threat in the middle of the order." Ramirez continues to work on fielding balls off the Wall and getting good reads off the bat. ALLERGIC REACTION HURT CECCHINI IN '14: Third baseman Garin Cecchini singled and drove in a pair of runs. The youngster has bulked up since last season and said he checked into camp at 225 pounds, eight more than last year, and 18 more than he was at his lowest last season, when he had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic bactrim. "It was awful," Cecchini said. "I couldn't eat or drink anything." Cecchini was on the medicine to help heal a sty on his eye, but the reaction left his mouth full of sores. He ended up losing 10 pounds in the middle of the season, though he regained his strength by the end of the year in time to hit his first big league homer in September.

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