NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara is unavailable for Saturday’s game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
The Red Sox still are gathering information on Uehara’s shoulder tightness, manager John Farrell said before Saturday’s game. It’s unclear at this point whether Uehara will land on the disabled list because of his ailment, but the Red Sox will lean on Edward Mujica as their closer in the 39-year-old’s absence.
Uehara, who began feeling discomfort in his shoulder while playing catch before Friday’s game, said after the contest he hopes to be back as soon as possible. Uehara also said Friday he dealt with a similar shoulder issue while pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2012, and it took the right-hander two months to get over that injury.
“Any time you’ve got a pitcher unavailable there’s immediate concern,” Farrell said Saturday. “This is the first time we’ve had to deal with (Uehara) being available, 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 (in 2012). To say that this is a direct comparison to 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.”
While Mujica will serve as the closer in Uehara’s absence, there also figures to be somewhat of a domino effect at the back end of the Red Sox’s bullpen. Junichi Tazawa will continue to pitch in high-leverage situations, and Andrew Miller and Chris Capuano both could be thrust into more meaningful roles as well.