Closer look at Koji

Koji Uehara picked up his 11th save tonight to preserve a 2-0 victory over the Rays, striking out two more batters while retiring the side in order.

Since allowing Alex Rodriguez's three-run homer on Sept. 17, Uehara hasn't given up a hit, run or walk in five appearances covering five innings. He's struck out 11 batters, many of them with the splitter that he abandoned in that game against the Yankees.

Uehara has walked five and struck out 52 in 42 innings this season.

I'll say it again: Offer him a contract heavy in appearance incentives, challenging him to stay off the disabled list, and hope that he accepts it. If he can do better elsewhere, you move on to other closer options.

Wouldn't it be nice if he felt like he owed the Orioles for all the time he missed? Yeah, right. I'm just saying...

I don't know what it's like to cover Uehara through a healthy spring training. I've never seen him avoid hamstring and elbow injuries. But I'm seeing him at his best right now - durable and highly productive - and it's a rush.

One more thing: The Orioles won't lose 100 games this season. They aren't covering the lockers in plastic, but it's still a noteworthy achievement, considering how they once looked like a virtual lock to surpass the worst record in franchise history.

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