red sox notebook

Koji Uehara may be shipped back for exam

Closer sits again; shoulder still sore

The injury to Sox closer Koji Uehara is similar to one that sidelined him with Texas in 2012.
The injury to Sox closer Koji Uehara is similar to one that sidelined him with Texas in 2012.Elise Amendola/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Koji Uehara was not available to the Red Sox on Saturday and may soon be sent back to Boston to have his sore right shoulder examined.

The closer felt stiffness in his shoulder during a pregame throwing session Friday night and did not pitch the ninth inning of the game. Edward Mujica finished off a 4-2 victory against the Yankees.

“We haven’t gotten to the point of any roster move with him. We’re still gathering the information. We’ll look to put him through a little bit of a throwing program [Sunday]. That’s the next step,” manager John Farrell said. “Right now, still unavailable.”


Farrell said the Red Sox have “complete confidence” in Mujica, who saved 37 games for the St. Louis Cardinals last season.

But the loss of Uehara, for even a short time, would be significant given his incredible effectiveness. In his last 55 games, counting the postseason, Uehara has allowed two earned runs over 59 innings with two walks and 75 strikeouts.

In five games this season, the 39-year-old Uehara has thrown five shutout innings, allowing three hits without a walk while striking out seven.

When he played for Texas in 2012, Uehara was on the disabled list with a strained latissimus muscle behind his shoulder from June 10 to Aug. 25. On Friday, he described the pain as being in the same area.

“Any time you’ve got a pitcher unavailable there’s immediate concern,” Farrell said. “We’re also getting to know Koji. This is the first time we’ve had to deal with him being unavailable. 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. 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.”


The throwing session Sunday is expected to include Uehara’s usual routine of playing catch from 200 feet.

The Sox are off Monday before starting a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago.

“It’s another day available to us,” Farrell said. “Based on the information we get tomorrow, it gives us the possibility of him returning to Boston to be checked out. That’s not set in stone yet but it’s a possibility. We’re still gathering information along the way.”

On Friday, Uehara said he didn’t think the injury was serious. That did not change overnight, according to Farrell.

Low offer to Lester

The Red Sox and ace lefthander Jon Lester broke off contract extension talks at the end of spring training with an agreement to leave the door open to further negotiations.

Lester and general manager Ben Cherington described the sessions as amicable.

On Saturday, Fox Sports reported Lester rejected an offer of four years and $70 million and that the sides would not speak again until after the season.

“I don’t think that’s news. For me, I think that was pretty well stated on both sides that we were going to pause it for now,” Lester said. “I took that as the season.”

Fox suggested that Lester would leave the Red Sox as a result of the lowball offer. But Lester rejected that premise, saying he remains optimistic of staying with the Sox.


“I think both sides walked away in good places. Like I said, we’ll pick it up when the time comes,” he said. “I think we’re always hopeful, absolutely. Like I’ve stated before, I would like to think what they’ve said is true as well. I want to be here. They said they want me here. Just at that particular time things didn’t really pan out, didn’t work out. We’ll sit down again and see where we’re at then.”

Lester, who can become a free agent after the season, has repeatedly said he would give the Red Sox a “hometown discount” on a new deal. But four years with an average annual value of $17.5 million would represent a significant discount in both value and length of contract.

Cole Hamels, a pitcher of comparable age and accomplishments, took a six-year, $144 million deal to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012.

Max Scherzer, another good comparison to Lester, rejected an offer of six years and $144 million from the Tigers earlier this year.

Lester is 101-58 with a 3.74 ERA over nine seasons. A 2.11 ERA in 13 postseason games — including 0.43 in three World Series starts — adds to his value.

Lester has a 2.57 ERA and 1.095 WHIP in three starts this season.

Jeter sits out

Derek Jeter did not play for the Yankees, but not because of injury. In a rarity for a game against the Red Sox, the 40-year-old Jeter was simply given a rest. Rookie Dean Anna started at shortstop.


That some fans at Yankee Stadium would miss a chance to see Jeter in person during his final season wasn’t a concern for New York manager Joe Girardi.

“I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour,” he said. “I wasn’t hired to put on a farewell tour.”

Papi production

David Ortiz has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games against the Yankees dating to the start of the 2012 season. He extended the streak with a single in the first inning. Ortiz is 39 of 93 (.419) in those 25 games with 20 walks and 12 RBIs . . . Dustin Pedroia is 6 for 34 (.176) with two RBIs in his last eight games against the Yankees . . . The Red Sox are 25-24 at new Yankee Stadium, the only visiting team with a winning record. The Rays are next at 21-25 . . . Red Sox outfielder Grady Sizemore was out of the lineup a day after going 2 for 4 with a home run. He has yet to play three games in a row . . . The Sox are 1-4 in day games this season. They were 28-15 in day games last season . . . Burke Badenhop’s return to the American League continues to be rocky. The Red Sox reliever allowed three hits in the eighth inning, including a home run by Kelly Johnson. Badenhop has pitched six innings and allowed six runs on 12 hits.


Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.