After dominating in spring training, Kyle Kendrick was starting to look more like most of us expected him to look when the regular season rolled around. Even against Triple-A hitting, it was fairly clear that he wasn’t a great major-league depth piece. However, no one else in Pawtucket’s rotation really stepped up to the degree the Red Sox wanted to see and they gave Kendrick the first crack at the rotation after Steven Wright’s season-ending knee injury. Kendrick’s two starts did not go well — including another rough one on Wednesday — and now he’s being shipped back to Triple-A. Robbie Ross will rejoin the major-league roster for now.
Kyle Kendrick was optioned to Pawtucket. Robbie Ross Jr. will be recalled from Pawtucket and is expected to be available tomorrow. #RedSox— Guerin Austin (@guerinaustin) May 11, 2017
This comes as a bit of a surprise. Not because Kendrick is off the roster, of course. We all saw that coming. However, most of us (at least me; I won’t speak for all of you) thought the righty would have to clear waivers before heading back to Pawtucket. He is, after all, out of minor-league options. However, there is apparently a clause in his contract that allows the team to option him to the minors within the first 45 days of his call-up.
Kyle Kendrick had an agreement in his contract that he could be optioned within 45 days after making the roster. #RedSox— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) May 11, 2017
It’s unclear what the Red Sox’ plan with the rotation is just yet, but they don’t necessarily have to make a decision already. With an off-day on Monday, they could feasibly go without a fifth starter until May 20.
As for Ross, it is very nice to see him back in the majors. The lefty never deserved to be sent down to Pawtucket in the first place, and hopefully he’ll be up long enough to establish his talent level this time around. He’ll provide a fresh arm to a bullpen that’s been worn out over the last couple of days. Eventually, the Red Sox will have to send down a reliever to make room for a starter, but it’s too early to speculate on whether that will be Ross or another arm — with Ben Taylor being the most logical other solution.