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Red Sox promote Travis Shaw to majors, delaying Matt Barnes' call-up

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With David Ortiz suspended for Friday night, the Red Sox are temporarily calling up a first baseman from Pawtucket.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The expectation was that right-hander Matt Barnes would be promoted to the Red Sox on Friday following Edward Mujica being designated for assignment, but David Ortiz's suspension has delayed those plans. Instead, first baseman Travis Shaw has been called up, and will start at first base for the Red Sox on Friday against the Blue Jays.

Shaw is batting just .189/.245/.311 on the season, but he's been better than that in the past at Triple-A, and also isn't in Boston because of his bat at the moment. Shaw's presence at first allows the Sox to play Mike Napoli at designated hitter in place of the suspended Ortiz, and lets them put Brock Holt on the bench. If they hadn't made a move like this, the bench could have very well been just backup catcher Sandy Leon and infielder Luis Jimenez, since Hanley Ramirez is temporarily out with a shoulder injury and Shane Victorino is beginning his rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Friday.

It's likely that Shaw will be sent back to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, with Barnes called up in his place, as Ortiz's suspension is just for the one game. Barnes only recently switched to the bullpen exclusively, but manager John Farrell has been vocal in the past about his belief in Barnes' ability out of the pen, and the need for another reliable arm is obvious.