Koji Uehara struggled following a midseason trade to the Rangers and was left off the World Series roster, and now Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the reliever wants to return to the Orioles next year:
I continue to believe that Koji Uehara will find a way back to the Orioles. … It’s hard to not feel for the guy, particularly because I remember him blinking back tears when he was traded while the team was in New York. … Uehara still owns a home in the area and has talked with people close to him about wanting to return.
Uehara was brilliant in Baltimore and the Orioles would no doubt be open to him returning, but the problem is that he’s under contract for $4 million in 2012 and the Rangers traded for him in part because they wanted the bullpen help for next season. And even while serving up homers in bunches for the Rangers he posted an excellent 24/3 K/BB ratio in 19 innings, so he could have a big role in Texas if given an extended opportunity.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.