Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara asks out of closers role; Jackie Bradley, Drake Britton called up

Rob Bradford
September 05, 2014 - 12:35 pm

Prior to the Red Sox' game against the Blue Jays Friday night, Sox manager John Farrell announced that Koji Uehara has been taken out of the closers role, with Edward Mujica assuming the position. Farrell made it clear that Uehara wouldn't be shut down, and the team's hope that he would reclaim the role before the end of the season. (Update: According to Tokyo Sports, Uehara asked Farrell to be taken out of the closers role, but not be shut down for season.) "After having a chance to sit with Koji he was understanding," Farrell said. "He understands the reason for it. We'll probably give him a couple of days to regroup some and then look to get him back in some lower-leverage situations." Uehara has struggled mightily over his last six appearances, totaling a 19.29 ERA (10 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings), with opponents hitting an even .500 (14-for-28) against the righty. The reliever's latest hiccup came Thursday night in Yankee Stadium when he failed to hold a one-run lead against New York, allowing the hosts a walk-off victory thanks to solo home runs from Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley. "First of all he's healthy, and there's no reason to shut down a healthy player," Farrell said. "There's no physical ailments. He doesn't complain of anything. He downplays the fatigue that has been written about and reported. So we have to factor all that in and yet not be blind to the number of appearances he's had over the last two years. There's no intent to shut him down, but with the stretch of games that might be similar to the he had when he first started in Texas, and we're working with him to get through this." In other Red Sox news, outfielder Jackie Bradley has been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Bradley had hit .213 in his last 10 games, striking out 12 times and drawing three walks. "When we sent him out we said we would bring him back in September," Farrell said, "and we feel the work he's been doing in Pawtucket will continue with us here in Boston. ... It will be a balance to get everybody equal playing time, and I can't even guarantee it will be equal because we're trying to get a read on multiple guys." Also getting the call is lefty reliever Drake Britton, who totaled a 5.86 ERA in 45 appearances out of the PawSox' bullpen this season. The lefty struck out 37 while walking 38.