The Red Sox bullpen was reworked a little bit ahead of Monday’s game when Hector Velazquez was placed on the ten-day disabled list to make room for Steven Wright returning from suspension. There’s a little more change coming to the unit ahead of Tuesday’s action as well, though this was more unexpected. Carson Smith is being placed on the ten-day disabled list with right shoulder subluxation, and Bobby Poyner will head back up to take his spot.
Carson Smith on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder subluxation. To fill Smith’s spot on the 25-man roster, the club recalled LHP Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket.— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) May 15, 2018
I am no doctor, but the google machine is telling me that a shoulder subluxation means that Smith’s throwing shoulder is at least partially dislocated. That, ya know, doesn’t sound ideal. Things get even worse when you realize that the injury occurred after his appearance on Monday when he apparently threw his glove into the dugout. According Dave Dombrowski, there is no timetable just yet but it has the potential to be serious. Not a good look, and certainly not what the Red Sox needed in their bullpen at this point.
Carson Smith hurt his arm throwing his glove in the dugout after he left the game yesterday. "It's unfortunate," Dave Dombrowski said. No timetable. Went for testing today, MRI, needs a second opinion: "It's got the potential of being a major injury."— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 15, 2018
As far as what this means for the bullpen, it certainly puts a lot more pressure on Tyler Thornburg. While making it easier to figure out how they’ll make room for the righty, it takes away the guy who many looked at as the best chance the team has at a true setup arm behind Craig Kimbrel. Joe Kelly has stepped into that role of late and Matt Barnes has at least shown flashes that he can be a key arm late in games, but Thornburg now has the most upside. Of course, he’s also coming back from a TOS surgery that has spotty results at best in terms of recovery from pitchers. This injury also brings Poyner back into the fold and gives the Red Sox a true left-handed specialist in the bullpen. I suspect he’ll be demoted when Thornburg is ready to return, although he impressed in his previous stint with the team and if he pitches similarly he could force the issue. So, there are some positive consequences here but the overall news is very bad.