Former Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has announced his retirement from baseball. The one-time World Series champion is calling it a career at the young age of 44. Uehara last pitched in the MLB with the Cubs back in 2017 but spent four years as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Koji Uehara, Former Boston Red Sox Closer, Announces Retirement
Uehara initially joined the Red Sox prior to the 2013 season. Initially signed to serve as a middle-relief arm, Uehara earned the closer job midway through June. Uehara thrived in that role, immediately establishing himself as one of the best closers in baseball. Overall, Uehara finished the year with a 1.09 ERA and a 1.61 FIP while posting a 12.23 K/9 and a 1.09 BB/9.
Of course, Uehara was one of the key pieces in Boston’s 2013 World Series run. During that postseason stretch, Uehara posted a ridiculous 0.66 ERA while striking out 16 without issuing a walk. Opponents slashed just .152/.152/.261 against him and he earned ALCS MVP honors for his work against the Detroit Tigers.
Uehara remained with the team until the conclusion of the 2016 season. During his time in Boston, the closer posted a 2.19 ERA to go along with a 2.57 FIP. Uehara struck out 11.6 batters per nine innings while issuing just 1.5 walks per nine. His splitter was nearly unhittable, as opposing batters posted a .181/.219/.332 slash line against Uehara.
Koji Uehara also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs. Throughout the course of his career, Uehara posted a 2.66 ERA and a 2.85 FIP while striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings and walking just 1.5. Hitters posted just a .199/.233/.355 slash line against the right-hander throughout the course of his major league career.
Uehara last pitched in the majors with the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 season. During that season, Uehara recorded a 3.98 ERA and a 3.79 FIP.