Red Sox option Joe Kelly to Pawtucket after rough outing

Red Sox option Joe Kelly to Pawtucket after rough outing

BALTIMORE -- For the second time in less than a week, the Red Sox have removed a pitcher from their underperforming starting rotation.

Five days after demoting Clay Buchholz to the bullpen, the Red Sox optioned Joe Kelly to Pawtucket in the wake of another poor outing.

Kelly was cuffed around for seven hits and seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings in the Red Sox' 13-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night.

That start, coming on the heels of a bad start in Toronto in which he allowed five runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, was enough to earn Kelly a trip back to the minor leagues.

"It came down to the inconsistency with his command overall,'' said John Farrell after the loss, "and particularly fastball command. When he made mistakes up in the strike zone, or fell behind in the count, (the Orioles) squared a number of balls up.''

Kelly's first start following a disabled list stint for a shoulder impingement offered plenty of promise. He limited the Indians to one hit over 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts, but as has been a career-long pattern, he couldn't continue that precision for long.

"When he (first) came back,'' said Farrell, ''it didn't look like he was overthrowing. He was staying in his delivery well, that was a consistent energy and effort that allowed him to command the fastball. That hasn't been the case the last two times out.

"That's been the nemesis for Joe - blessed with a golden arm and tremendous stuff, but the execution has not been as consistent.''

Kelly offered no excuses for his erratic command, which saw him issue three walks and consistently pitch from behind.

"I wasn't commanding the baseball at all,'' said Kelly. "It was just a lack of fastball command where I wasn't putting the ball where it needed to be. From there, I was falling behind hitters and trying to get back into counts, it just wasn't happening for me.''

Kelly said he noted "a couple of different things'' mechanically that need to be addressed, including a dropped arm slot in his delivery.

"I've got to stay on top of the ball a little better,'' he said.

Of the demotion to Triple A, Kelly said: "Obviously, I didn't see it coming, but it's the move they decided to make. I'm just going to go down there and continue to try to get better at what I do and commanding the baseball and try to get back as soon as I can.''

The Sox have two off-days next week, which means they don't have a need for a fifth starter until June 11.

Asked if Buchholz might be a candidate to reclaim his spot, Farrell wouldn't commit.

"We have yet to address that,'' said Farrell. "We've got some work to do and we've got to remain consistent with everyone else. We'll (figure) out who that guy in the rotation will be.''

This is the second time in as many seasons that the Red Sox have sent Kelly to Pawtucket. He was optioned back to Triple A last June 25, where he remained for four starts before being recalled.

After his recall, Kelly went on a stretch that saw him win eight straight games before he was shut down in September with shoulder soreness.


Farrell mum on Pedroia, who seems close to return

Farrell mum on Pedroia, who seems close to return

Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn't want to talk any more about what happened in Baltimore with Dustin Pedroia, Manny Machado and Matt Barnes.

"It’s been addressed, it’s behind us and we focus on an important series as they all are in division," Farrell told SiriusXM MLB Network Radio on Tuesday afternoon, before the scheduled start of a series with the Yankees. "Game of baseball’s going to be played hard."

Asked specifically about Pedroia's comments by host Jim Duquette, Farrell dodged the question.

"Again, like I said, we’ve handled all that’s kind of fallen out from it," Farrell said. "I’m not trying to give you a short answer but we’re moving on."

Pedroia (left knee and ankle) did not need an MRI on Monday, which suggests he'll avoid the DL. Pedroia hasn't played since Machado spiked him Friday.

"Lingering soreness that’s there, but knowing Pedey ... if he’s ready, he’s going to be on the field," Farrell told MLB Network Radio. 

Tyler Thornburg still long tossing

Right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg (right shoulder) needs to get out to about 150 feet of long toss before starting something akin to spring training, where he'll need 7-10 appearances. Farrell expressed hope that Thornburg was close to throwing off the mound and going on assignment.

Sandoval goes on 10-day DL, Rutledge returns from DL to take roster spot

Sandoval goes on 10-day DL, Rutledge returns from DL to take roster spot

BOSTON - Maybe the Red Sox lineup will just never be at full health in 2017.

Pablo Sandoval's right knee sprain has landed him on the 10-day disabled list, with Josh Rutledge returning from the DL in Sandoval's place.

Sandoval was hurt reaching for a ground ball Sunday.

"Medial side of the right knee is what’s been sprianed," Farrell told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio on Tuesday. "I don't know how long this one’s going to take.

"It looked like kind of a benign play at the time, and in between innings it really started to get sore on him. ... Added force as he was kind of rolling over the front side of that. He’s got some swelling in there, it really kind of swelled up on him pretty good."

Rutledge has been on the DL all season because of a left hamstring strain. He played five rehab games between Triple-A Pawtucket and Double-A Portland, playing one game for the latter on Monday night.

Marco Hernandez's role for the Red Sox grows in importance from here with Brock Holt on the DL because of vertigo. Steve Selsky will be leaned on more, too.

The Sox are aiming for a platoon at third base with Rutledge and Hernandez in Sandoval's absence.

"We feel like with a platoon system at third we’re going to be covered," Farrell said.

Sandoval is on the DL retroactive to April 24. He wasn't doing enough at the plate (.213) before the injury.