Want to waste 5 million dollars? Sign Koji Uehara!

June 28, 2009 | Keith Melchior

For the 2nd time this season Koji Uehara is on the disabled list, this time with arm troubles.  Koji started 12 games this season and has a record of 2-4. That’s it, folks, 6 decisions in 12 starts.  His ERA is a semi-respectable 4.05 and his strikeout to walk ratio is 4-1. Right now, Koji has earned about $416,000 per start and $2.5 million per win. So in retrospect,  this guy has turned out to be a waste of 5 million dollars. But the apologists will all come out and say, “the Orioles did a good thing by signing Koji Uehara and management showed they are not afraid to go into the foreign markets now..” Well after this episode, I am reminded of the song  “Once bitten, twice shy baby.”

Koji averages about 5+ innings per start which is hardly considered a quality start, except in manager Dave Trembley’s rotation. If Koji is expected to perfom in the 2nd half of the season and prove his worth, the Orioles will get him on a strength and conditioning program while he’s out until after the all star break. I don’t know how hot and humid it gets in Japan, but Baltimore weather get’s pretty stifling at times. If Koji has no endurance now, what’s going to happen to him in the really hot and humid months of  July and August?  I realize the long relief specialist right now is Brian Bass, and there’s no way Mr Angelos is going to allow a relief pitcher to make 5 million of his dollars and only be available to pitch every 3 or 4 days.

Koji got everyone wearing the orange glasses excited early in the season, but it became rather obvious he couldn’t finish what he started. I know it’s not my money, but after Koji returns in 2 weeks he better be pitching deep into the 7th or 8th innings.

I am willing to bet a Japanese lunch with anyone that Koji Uehara will end up on the DL again. If that happens,  Orioles, it’s time to cut your losses, say sayonara to him and his interpteter, burn his worthless jerseys and tee shirts, and eat his contract like a roll of sushi.