In a free agent market brimming with capable relief options, Koji Uehara is an enticing option. Originally brought over as a starter, Uehara finished his Orioles’ career as their closer. Besides his majestic sideburns, the most noticeable tool in his shed is excellent control. The 2009 season may have marked Uehara’s first on American soil and by extension his first in the frigid American League East, but he still managed a strikeout-to-walk ratio of four.
Uehara worked exclusively out of the bullpen in 2010 in between injuries and topped himself. In 44 innings, he struck out 55 and walked five. Uehara’s season included no intentional walks, no hit by pitches, and a single wild pitch. Keith Law wrote that his control plays up even more in the bullpen, citing a “grade 70 or better” on the 20-80 scouting scale. The numbers certainly support the assertion.
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