After pitching well much more often than not in the first four months of the season, Matt Barnes has hit a rough patch in his year during this latest stretch of games, a hugely important stretch for the Red Sox. Obviously, the team has done well despite some struggles in the bullpen, but Barnes has become increasingly unreliable late in games. He’s going to get some days off after his rough outing on Monday as the team placed him on the 10-day disabled list with a back strain. Hector Velazquez has been recalled to take his roster spot.
Matt Barnes to the 10 day DL. Back strain. Hector Velazquez called up— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 22, 2017
There’s not a ton to say on the Barnes front for this move. It’s not clear how much time he’ll miss, but at this point I’d probably guess he’ll be back shortly after rosters expand. He’s eligible to return on the exact day that expansion can begin on September 1.
As for Velazquez, the righty gives the team Doug Fister insurance for tonight. Fister, of course, struggled mightily in his last outing against the Indians, and with the Red Sox bullpen working a ton of late they could use a long man in their bullpen in case Fister cannot make it deep into this game. After tonight, it’s unclear what Velazquez’ role will be. He could theoretically stick around as the long man for the rest of the year, he could be sent down for a more conventional reliever after this game or he could take Fister’s spot in the rotation if the latter’s night does not go well on Tuesday. This move also keeps the roster a bit imbalanced with 13 pitchers. Expect this to remain the case until September rolls around.