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Red Sox send Heath Hembree to Pawtucket, activate Eduardo Rodriguez

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There's good news and bad news both.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The good news: Eduardo Rodriguez is finally back, and will start as planned on Tuesday.

The bad news: Heath Hembree has been optioned to free up the room on the roster.

This is a roster move with an unwritten addendum. The chronology is a bit askew, but the reality is this...

Eduardo Rodriguez recalled to Boston Red Sox, Heath Hembree optioned to Pawtucket, Clay Buchholz moved to the bullpen.

There it is. The truth of the thing. The Red Sox have left themselves without one of their more productive relievers in order to...I don't really even know what, actually. Keep Buchholz around in the majors for some reason? Did he tell them he wouldn't take the "something is clearly wrong here" DL stint? Surely with all the relief options the Red Sox have at Triple-A Buchholz would be more valuable to them as insurance if he were to stay stretched out, and perhaps even get healthy? I just don't get it.

Yes, Buchholz had his one inning on Sunday. Yes, Hembree will get his chance to come back up. No, don't let anyone cite you Hembree's May stats as though that arbitrary starting point overrides the fact that he's simply been quite good this year. This is, plain and simple, not the best Red Sox roster available. And if Buchholz is not actively blocking a DL move, it's probably not even the way to get the most value out of him.

About the only thing Buchholz does offer over Hembree is the number of innings he can potentially offer. But even that seems like a poor reason. Hembree has taken on the role of long relief at times already for the Red Sox this season, thrice tossing three frames in an outing, and Buchholz is the sort of pitcher who might well replace Kelly after he uses 60 pitches to get 8 outs and then spend 50 getting the next 5.

It's great to have Eduardo Rodriguez back, but sometimes Boston's priorities seem awfully mixed up.