Tim Kurkjian on M&M: Koji Uehara can continue success 'in the postseason as well'

August 14, 2013 - 9:29 am
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ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday afternoon to talk about the continued success of the Red Sox, Koji Uehara and manager John Farrell. With his 55th appearance of the season Tuesday, Uehara reached a vesting option that calls for him to return to the Red Sox in 2014 for a $4.25 million deal. Kurkjian had high praise for what Uehara has been able to do this season '€” especially at the velocity at which he is pitching. '€œI did a story last year on the most amazing things in baseball, meaning what do players look at and say, '€˜Boy, that just really amazes me.'€™'€ Kurkjian said. '€œMark Reynolds of the Orioles last year looked at me and said, '€˜The most amazing thing in the game is easy. It'€™s how Koji Uehara throws it by people at 89 mph. I cannot tell you how many times I just looked over at JJ Hardy and he shrugged his shoulders like, '€˜How did he just do that?'€™'€™ You look at the gun and it'€™s 89 and the guy just swung and missed it by a mile. It is in part of course because he has got a great split '€” you'€™ve got to look for that. It'€™s also because he has got great control and he really hides it well and is difficult to pick up. It'€™s also time to understand that this guy can do this job and I think he can do it in the postseason as well. While Kurkjian was sure to credit the performance of some of the veterans on the Red Sox such as David Ortiz for their success this season, he noted that Farrell deserves a lot of credit for Boston'€™s turnaround from last season. '€œJohn Farrell has a lot to do with it,'€ Kurkjian said. '€œThere is no way around this. This is Boston and it takes a certain kind of guy to manage there. The minute he walked in the door everything changed. It shouldn'€™t have been that way, but that is the way it worked. I think the fact that he understands exactly what the Red Sox are all about and the fact that he is really smart and he has a commanding presence and he understands Boston and the team. I think all of that led to where the Red Sox are today.'€ With Mike Napoli struggling at the plate, there has been some speculation that the Red Sox might be interested in acquiring first baseman Justin Morneau from the Twins. However, Kurkjian said he doesn'€™t see the Red Sox making a move for Morneau. '€œI think they will look into Morneau and I don'€™t think they will get him,'€ Kurkjian said. '€œI'€™m not even sure he is going anywhere. As we know, just being on waivers doesn'€™t mean a whole lot. Now comes the hard part where you have to work out a trade for him. The Twins are not going to allow him to just walk away. He is certainly not the player that he used to be '€” really not even close '€” but he has been pretty good lately. Would he help the Red Sox? Of course he would. But is it worth the money that you would have to give up and is it worth what you have to give up to get him? Those are big questions and we have learned '€” as you guys know from the trade deadline '€” teams are simply not willing anymore to give up good young players for a couple of month rental or even a year and a half rental. My guess is Morneau is going to stay right where he is.'€ To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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