ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Pitcher Koji Uehara #19 of the Texas Rangers receives high fives in the dugout after striking out Torii Hunter (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Rangers defeated the Angels 4-3. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
On Saturday it will be official, the Texas Rangers will have four members of their pitching staff on the disabled list when Koji Uehara hits the DL with a strained lat muscle. Unlike the rest of them, with the possible exception of a Derek Holland, Uehara's injury seems to not be serious, but a move had to be made to pull up Justin Grimm from Double-A Frisco to start on Saturday.
"I don't think it's that severe," Uehara told ESPNDallas. "I'm pretty positive about the situation."
Let's hope he's right.
Uehara, this season, has become the Uehara the Rangers traded for at the deadline last year, the opposite of the Uehara they got over the second half last season and into the postseason when he was actually left off the World Series roster.
In 21 1/3 innings he's posted a 2.11 ERA with the strikeout to walk ratio we expected to see from him last season with 22 strikeouts and two walks and has allowed five runs on 13 hits. He's gone from an afterthought who was on the trade table in the winter to being a valuable piece of the Rangers' deep bullpen.
The good thing here is that it seems to be a consensus opinion that Uehara won't be out for too long.
"My guess is a no-throw for two weeks," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said. "It’s dependent on when he’s completely pain free and there is no discomfort."