Koji Uehara: Meet the Chicago Cubs New $6 Million Man


koji uehara

On Wednesday afternoon the Chicago Cubs announced the newest member of their pitching staff- Koji Uehara. The right hander signed a one-year contract for 2017 reportedly worth $6 million. Thus Uehara, 41, is literally the six million dollar man. He’s the Lee Majors of MLB I guess.

His deal also includes a very interesting perk:

Yes, the Japanese important comes to the Cubs from the Boston Red Sox with a career record of 19-22 with 67 holds, 93 saves and a 2.53 ERA (123 ER/437.2 IP) in 387 major league appearances, all but 12 in relief. In addition to the BoSox, Koji Uehara also had stints with the Baltimore Orioles (2009-11) and Texas Rangers (2011-12).

Most impressive, his 7.91 strikeout to walk ratio and 0.86 WHIP are both the best in major league history, for someone with a minimum of 400 innings pitched. He has struck out 522 and walked just 66

 in 437.2 innings, an average of 10.7 strikeouts and 1.4 walks per nine innings.

Uehara owns a 0.86 WHIP in his career, the lowest mark in major league history among pitchers with at least 400.0 innings, while walking just 66. The 2013 ALCS MVP and 2014 All-Star has limited opponents to a .195 batting average, including a .183 batting average by left-handed hitters and a .208 batting average by right-handed hitters over the course of his career. Last season he limited left-handed hitters to a .139 batting average, a .200 on-base percentage and a .278 slugging percentage, good for a .478 OPS against.

His primary gig now in Chicago will be as the set up man to the Cubs new closer Wade Davis.

 koji uehara

Uehara’s 0.57 WHIP that year remains the best single-season mark in major league history by any pitcher with at least 40.0 innings pitched. It is indeed a very new statistic that hasn’t been around very long, but it’s still mightily impressive. 

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.

He also consistently appears on numerous radio and television talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and Sound Cloud.

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