Koji Uehara Placed on 10-Day DL by Cubs with Neck Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13:  Koji Uehara #19 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field on April 13, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs won 4-0.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Jon Durr/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs bullpen took another hit with right-hander Koji Uehara's placement on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a neck injury. 

Per USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Cubs called up Justin Grimm from Triple-A to take Uehara's spot on the 25-man roster. 

Uehara was removed in the bottom of the seventh during Tuesday's game against the San Francisco Giants with an apparent injury after allowing a single to Pablo Sandoval. 

Patrick Mooney of Comcast SportsNet noted Uehara has been dealing with stiffness "on the right side/lower part of his neck for several days now."

The 42-year-old is in his first season with the Cubs and is posting a 3.55 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 38 innings. 

Uehara is not far removed from being one of the top relievers in the majors. While he had solid runs with the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, the Japanese star was at his best with the Boston Red Sox.

Although he joined the team at 38 years old, he earned both Cy Young and MVP votes in 2013 while garnering an All-Star nod in 2014. He was a major factor in Boston's run to the 2013 World Series title, winning ALCS MVP that season.

Unfortunately, injuries have limited him over the past couple of years. After pitching at least 64 innings in his first two seasons with the Red Sox, he failed to top 50 frames in either of the last two. A pectoral strain kept him off the mound for a good portion of 2016.

He got a fresh start with the Cubs after signing a one-year deal worth $6 million. However, he is once again dealing with an injury that could lead to another extended absence.

The Cubs still have Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop in the back of their bullpen, but depth is an issue that manager Joe Maddon has to deal with now that Uehara is on the shelf.   


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