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July 1, 2009

Koji out up to eight weeks

It seemed ominous this week when the Orioles medical staff decided to have Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara undergo an arthrogram on his sore right elbow, and now we know why.

The results came back and Uehara is suffering from a partially torn flexor tendon. He'll be shut down for up to five weeks, then embark on a throwing program that could extend his absense up to eight weeks or more. It's probably not out of the question that his season is over.

kojiAP.jpg"Koji is going to be out for awhile,'' said manager Dave Trembley. "He has a partial tear in his elbow and will rest for three to five weeks. Surgery is not required...It could be seven or eight weeks before he's in a game again. He's going to get a second opinion, which everyone does now, but Dr. (John) Wilckens and Dr. (Andrew) Cosgarea are confident that's what it is."

Uehara was thought to be suffering from tendinitis, but there was enough lingering soreness to convince the medical staff to look deeper. An arthrogram is an x-ray that is taken after dye is injected into the area to highlight any structural damage.

"It's an unfortunate thing for him and for us,'' Trembley said. "I talked to him and he was very dejected."

"To tell [you] the truth, I don’t want to think about it," Uehara said through an interpreter when asked if he was frustrated. "I wasn’t expecting it, not at all," he added.

Triple-A call up David Hernandez, who moved into the rotation for the second time when Koji came up sore, will take his slot indefinitely.

"We all like him,'' Trembley said. "He's got good stuff. He's got an upside. He'll get an opportunity to pitch, unfortunately with Koji getting hurt, but that is part of the game."

Associated Press photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:35 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Just baseball


The San Francisco Giants have a ton of quality arms and looking to make the playoffs.. They need a guy at 1st that can swing the bat… not just saying lol

Seems to me that Koji's probably done for the year - at least as a starter. I questioned why he was used as a starter after his first stint on the DL when he proved start after start that he was a good through the first 3 and for whatever reason - perhaps an increasingly sore flexor tendon? - he would lose it in the 5th or 6th.

On another note, maybe it's time to move Rich Hill to the pen, send Berken back down and bring up our next savior, Tillman.

Yeah agree with most people here that he should have been brought back as a reliever - it seemed so obvious really. Plus Hernandez doesn't seem overmatched at all up here. Let him pitch. I'm sorry for Koji but glad for the team/ future. I wonder if Rich Hill will ultimately be a left handed matchup relief guy? That big curve ball has to be good for something

What exactly is happening to Koji in that picture above? Is he sleepy? In pain? Yelling at reporters or O’s fans?

Pete's reply: It's a file photo and he's obviously yawning while he waits to go back out to pitch. The wrap on his elbow was to keep it warm.

Looks kinda like this Ron


Gotta give the club credit for trying. When they signed Koji the rotation was even thinner than it is now. Just didn't work out. Hope we can use him in relief next year, but does he have a clause that says he has to be a starter?

I really think next year he could be effective out of the bullpen. He has showed he can compete for 3 or 4 innings. Hopefully one or two of the Minor League arms are on the Opening Day roster next year along with Guthrie and Bergesen. Then go sign another starter that will help us compete for a few years.

He'll recover. My guess is that he's out for the year though.

The blessing in disguise might be that this episode convinces Koji to see himself as a relief pitcher. It's clear that Koji is a quality arm. He just doesn't have the endurance to start. With the injury the Os can say that they gave Koji every chance to start, but his body broke down under the stress. I think he can be a great reliever a la Okajima though.

If he's a middle reliever, you have a reliable strike-thrower who keeps hitters off balance for multiple innings. That kind of option out of the pen is very valuable. Shortening the game by an inning (maybe 2) is an incredible advantage a team can gain from one player, esp. for a team with young arms in the rotation. After this injury, I think Koji would love the idea of being able to help the team out more than every 5th day.

I'll take Hernandez over Uehara no problemo. $10 million for a 34-year old with no MLB experience? I love MacPhail, but that money could've been much better spent, and Hernandez throws hard and gets strikeouts. Koji's done for the second he loses his off-speed stuff.

Pie may be a decent 4th outfielder but he will and should never be a starter. I can't believe he got thrown out at second, after Trembley, supposedly, addressed the issue. He did everything he could last night to help us win the game and it's hard to say that we would've won if he didn't contribute exactly as he did, but you need to be a little more consistent to start every day. Keep him until Lou gets back. It'd also be nice to find out some way to keep Salazar, Andino and Ty on the team when Izturis comes back. Any idea how it might be possible?

Pete's reply: They'd have to go with fewer pitchers or release a veteran.

Not yet halfway into the season, our original starting rotation is mostly gone (decimated?). Here is how they did (hendrickson stats as a starter only):

Guthrie 16 starts, 6-7, 5.11 ERA
Uehara 12 starts, 2-4, 4.05 ERA
Simon 2 starts, 0-1, 9.95 ERA
Eaton 8 starts, 2-5, 8.56 ERA
Hendrickson 7 starts, 1-4, 6.35 ERA

45 starts, 11-21
(excluding Guthrie, the replaced rotation has 29 starts, 5-14)

replacement staff:
Bergesen 13 starts 5-2, 3.76 ERA
Hill 9 starts, 3-2, 7.08 ERA
Berken 7 starts, 1-5, 6.44 ERA
Hernandez 3 starts , 1-2, 4.19 ERA

32 starts, 10 - 11

The replacement staff has done much better, but obviously we still have some holes.

Are any of the young pitchers on innings limits for the season?

Pete's reply: I doubt that, but they'll be babied late in the season.

team record when starting our old rotation (without guthrie):


team record with current rotation, including guthrie:

So, we are playing .500 with our current rotation. We have the best record with Rich Hill on the mound, 7-2. With Bergesen pitching, we are 8-5.


Pie was safe - the umpire blew the call

Quite the conversation on TV regarding Pie getting thrown out at second.

Palmer thought it a worthwhile gamble, and I agree. Thorne thought it was a dumb mistake, I disagree.

I also can't help but disagree with those who think Montanez will be a better ball player than Pie and that Pie willl be gone when Lou gets back.

Hate to tell you this, but Lou is done for the year, hadn't really done anything while he was here, is three years older than Pie, doesn't have even Pie's ML track record and by all accounts, doesn't have Pie's natural skills and therefore the same upside.

Yeah, Pie is raw, his baseball instincts can be questioned but I still say that the Pie's potential cannot be disregarded. If he shows he cannot learn, fine, designate him, but for Pete's sake, don't just get rid of him, see if he can learn. The Oriole's will only be better for it.

Pete's reply: I thought it was an okay play in that situation. He's a speedster and you're pressing the action. that's different than when you're trying to come from behind.

I'd like to see them dump Koji on someone for next year even if they have to eat a few bucks, which they clearly would have to do. They knew he was basically through when they got him and only did so to make a statement that they are now in the international game.

Well, now they have made their point and we're better off finding out if Hernandez can make the sort of strides that Bergy has.

Did McPhail keep his receipt when he bought Uehara?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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