Orioles likely to let Koji Uehara walk despite relief success

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Koji Uehara has struggled to stay off the disabled list in two years with the Orioles, but the 35-year-old right-hander thrived after moving to the bullpen full time this season with a 2.86 ERA and 55/5 K/BB ratio in 44 innings.

He converted 13-of-15 save opportunities, held opponents to a .220 batting average, finished the season with 32 straight walk-less appearances, and had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the entire league among pitchers with 40-plus innings, ahead of even Cliff Lee.

However, according to Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com “the Orioles haven’t made much of an attempt to re-sign him.” Because of his age and injury history Uehara is definitely a risk, but if the Orioles let him walk my guess is several contenders would line up for the chance to give him an incentive-laden one-year contract as a setup man.

Fan hit by foul ball during Sunday’s Rockies-Dodgers game

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Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.

After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”

Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]

Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”