The Boston Red Sox have placed starting pitcher Joe Kelly on the 15-day disabled list due to an impingement in his right shoulder, manager John Farrell told reporters, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton.
Kelly left his start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday evening after facing just four batters and walking two of them. The Red Sox were forced to overwork their bullpen due to Kelly’s early exit, using six relievers to soak up nine-and-one-third innings in their eventual 3-0 loss in 10 innings.
“I thought I would be fine to go. I went out there and threw my bullpen, and usually in my bullpen I don’t let anything go,” Kelly told the Boston Herald after the game. “But in the first inning, warming up, I was like, ‘Alright, it’s a little bit awkward. Then from pitch one, it wasn’t 100 percent. I was trying to push through the whole time, even when the medical staff and John (Farrell) came out.”
Kelly noted that he worked hard in the days leading up to the start to improve his shoulder.
“I went out there and played catch, and obviously playing catch, you really don’t put anything on the ball,” Kelly said.
Farrell told Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald that the team will likely make a roster move and bring up some fresh arms after Tuesday’s taxing effort. With Kelly on the DL, the Red Sox are now without two pitchers that they expected to be stalwarts in the rotation as left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez recovers from a patellar subluxation in his right knee. However, MassLive.com reported on Monday that Rodriguez is close to returning.
As for Kelly, the Red Sox currently do not have a timetable for his return. Kelly’s teammate and Red Sox’ third baseman Travis Shaw gave ESPN’s Scott Lauber some context in regards to the shoulder impingement diagnosis.
Again, every situation different, but Travis Shaw said he went 4-6 weeks w/o throwing after being diagnosed w/ shoulder impingement in Oct.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) April 20, 2016
It’s possible that Kelly’s situation is different and he will not require as long of a recovery period. However, Farrell noted that Kelly is “sore” and that it “looks like he’s going to miss some time.”
While losing Kelly for an extended period hurts, the Red Sox still have David Price, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, and Steven Wright in their rotation. They are also not short on pitching depth at the Triple-A level as various quality arms — with MLB experience — are ready.
Larry Lucchino says on @DandCShow that he expects Henry Owens to be called up to replace Joe Kelly in the rotation.
— WEEI (@WEEI) April 20, 2016
Owens, 23, made his MLB debut last season with the Red Sox. He pitched to a 4-4 record with a 4.57 ERA in 11 starts and 63 innings. The 6’6″ California native was considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, ranking as Red Sox’ second-best prospect and the 44th best prospect in the entire game following the 2014 season, according to Baseball America.
In three starts for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, Owens is 1-1 with a 1.00 ERA through 18 innings. While the Red Sox had other options, including Roenis Elias and Brian Johnson, Owens actually pitched yesterday; aligning perfectly to take Kelly’s original start on Sunday against the Astros in Houston.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]