In case you missed it, the Red Sox somewhat surprisingly placed struggling reliever Matt Barnes on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation on Wednesday.
Barnes, who turns 32 later this month, has had an abysmal season to date. The right-hander has posted a 7.94 ERA and 5.32 FIP to go along with 14 strikeouts to 12 walks over 20 appearances spanning 17 innings of work.
In his last three outings alone (two of which came in blowouts), Barnes surrendered five runs in less than three innings. He served up a three-run home run to Anthony Santander in the ninth inning Monday’s 10-0 loss to the Orioles at Fenway Park.
According to Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, Barnes first felt his throwing shoulder flare up ahead of that appearance on Memorial Day.
“He came to us with this yesterday,” Bloom told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo). “He said when he was warming up for that last appearance, he felt it, worked through it, and it didn’t bother him during the game. Then, yesterday, his shoulder was bothering him. He tried to play a little light catch and was feeling it.
“We tried to get our arms around it and see how he came in today,” added Bloom. “It’s still bothering him today so the prudent thing to do here is just to back off here and make sure we can calm this down. We’ll go from there and get him built back up.”
While some may question the timing of Barnes’ placement on the injured list, this will give the former All-Star a chance to work on some things without taking up a spot on Boston’s major-league roster.
The Red Sox can activate Barnes from the injured list as soon as June 15 if so choose. At the same time, they could send the righty out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester to give him even more time to reset.
If they were to take that route, Barnes could spend up to 30 days with the WooSox while rehabbing and working with pitching coach Paul Abbott at Polar Park.
In the meantime, the Red Sox currently have Ryan Brasier, Tyler Danish, Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Tanner Houck, Hirokazu Sawamura, John Schreiber, Matt Strahm, and Phillips Valdez available out of the bullpen.
Like Barnes, fellow righty Hansel Robles (back spasms) is on the 15-day injured list and has been since May 28. He is eligible to return as soon as June 9, at which point the Red Sox will be in Anaheim taking on the Angels.
(Picture of Matt Barnes: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)