FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox aren’t going to take any chances with Matt Barnes’ sore right shoulder.
Barnes was removed from the Red Sox’s pitching lineup for Tuesday’s spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Manager John Farrell said before the contest that the Red Sox only conducted baseline testing on Barnes, who pitched one inning in Thursday’s exhibition against Boston College, but the club clearly wants to be careful with the 23-year-old pitching prospect.
“He needed a couple extra days after coming out of his outing the other day. Just felt some stiffness in the back of the shoulder,” Farrell said. “Structurally and strength-wise, he tests fine. But given the time of the year (and) where he’s at, he’s a highly valued prospect, and we’re not going to push him too soon.”
Barnes, ranked the No. 40 prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the 2013 season, went 5-10 with a 4.33 ERA in 24 starts with Double-A Portland last season. The right-hander never has had any shoulder issues, but the former first-round pick figures to have a bright future, which explains why Boston is being extra delicate.
“We’re just being overly cautious with this,” Farrell said.