Uehara unavailable as Sox 'gather information'

Uehara unavailable as Sox 'gather information'
April 12, 2014, 12:00 pm
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NEW YORK -- Koji Uehara, sidelined with shoulder stiffness, remained unavailable Saturday, as the Red Sox continue to monitor him before making any roster moves involving him.

"We haven't gotten to the point with any roster with him,'' said John Farrell. "We're still gathering information. We'll look to put him through a little bit of a throwing program (Sunday) and that's the next step. So right now, still unavailable.''

Uehara felt some shoulder stiffness while long-tossing Friday afternoon and was ruled out of Friday night's game, with Edward Mujica handling closing duties in the ninth inning of the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the New York Yankees.

The stiffness, which Uehara emphasized did not involved any actual pain, is similar to an issue he experienced in 2012 while with Texas. That time, Uehara suffered a setback during his rehab, causing him to miss 2 1/2 months.

"Any time you've got a pitcher unavailable, there's immediate concern,'' said Farrell. "This is the first time we've had to deal with him being unavailable, so we've got to respect how he reacts to the discomfort that's there, the tightness that's there. We also know that when he was in Texas, there was a setback during the time that he was on the DL.

"So to say that this is a direct comparison to what happened two years ago is probably a little bit too early. But we'll take every precaution to get him back fully when he's able to return.''

Uehara's typical throwing program involves throwing long toss from a distance of 200 feet, but Farrell was unsure if he would attempt that Sunday.

"Whether he completes that or not remains to be seen,'' he said. "But that's the initial plan right now.''

If Uehara doesn't feel improvement Sunday, the Sox could well send him back to Boston for an examination by their medical staff. The Sox are off Monday before they begin a series with the White Sox Tuesday night in Chicago.

"(The off-day) is another day available to us,'' said Farrell. "(Going to Boston) is not set in stone yet, but it's a possibility. We're still gathering information along the way.''

Meanwhile, Mujica will continue to handle the ninth in save situations, serving as an insurance policy.

"One of the main reasons we signed him in the off-season,'' said Farrell, "was history last year showed us the need for multiple guys to close games out in the event of a situation that arose (Friday). (He's) a guy who saved 30-plus games and he walks to the mound in the ninth inning, very comfortable and we have complete confidence in him.''

With Mujica taken out of the set-up role for now, the eighth inning will be handled by Junichi Tazawa and two other lefties.

"Matchups are going to play a part of that,'' said Farrell. "Chris (Capuano's) emergence and our trust in him with both lefties and righties (is an option). Andrew Miller, who's got power stuff and can come in and close out or shut down an inning by virtue of his strikeouts (is another). So we're going to mix and match as best we can, based on who's available on a given day.''