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Red Sox place Shane Victorino on 15-day disabled list, recall Matt Barnes

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Shane Victorino is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring injury, leading to a (likely temporary) return for Matt Barnes.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have placed outfielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, recalling pitcher Matt Barnes from Pawtucket in his place.

Victorino has had an extraordinarily rough start to the season, producing just a .474 OPS in 43 plate appearances. Coming off a season ruined by injury, there was some hope that Victorino could return to his 2013 levels of production, when he was one of the best players on a team that won the World Series. So far, though, there's no sign of that.

The pressure from Rusney Castillo in the minors may have disappeared after an early injury, but he's close to making a return to action now, with a DH appearance scheduled for the middle of next week. In many ways, these next couple weeks may have been Victorino's last opportunity to prove himself before Castillo forces his way up to the majors. But even with his placement retroactive to the 23rd, there's going to be no real time between the point Castillo is back to 100% and Victorino is capable of getting back in the batter's box.

John Farrell has said that players don't lose their jobs due to injury, but at this point, Victorino could be said to have lost his job due to performance. He might get one last shot--maybe--to hold Castillo off. But unless another outfielder goes down at just the right time, this could largely be the end of Shane Victorino, at least as a starter.

Matt Barnes will likely be a temporary replacement for Victorino. The team will not want to play with a short bench for long, even if their backups are of unusually high quality. But at least for now he's a solid option for either a single inning, or some long relief if the Red Sox find themselves in need of multiple frames.