The Boston Red Sox’s pitching rotation seems to be safe for now.
Right-hander Joe Kelly left his start Monday against the New York Mets with apparent biceps soreness after being roughed up for three runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings of work. Luckily, the club and the pitcher himself aren’t overly concerned about the injury.
“Not uncommon for pitchers to experience some kind of soreness as we’re stretching him out and building up their pitch count,” manager John Farrell said after the game, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “I know it’s something Joe has dealt with in the past. It was a day his velocity wasn’t normal, which again, I think some of our starters are going through a little bit of a dead arm period. I know it affected him most after he tried to throw his breaking ball. After he threw that last pitch where he tried to get a little extra velocity you could see him have a little different action on the mound.
“At that time it was clearly time to get him out of the game. We’ll have a chance to re-evaluate him when he comes back tomorrow to see what treatment he might needs going forward or any adjustment to his overall schedule. We’ll find that out tomorrow.”
Farrell noted there’s always cause for concern when a pitcher has to walk off the mound and that the team will be cautious no matter what. But Kelly isn’t worried about the injury.
“I’m fairly confident and honest with you guys that I think it’s not very much of a big deal at all,” Kelly said, per Bradford. “They might make me rest a little bit. Right now my arm feels fine. It just was a little bit of restriction in the lower part of my biceps.”
The Red Sox came back to defeat the Mets 4-3 despite the poor start, so it wasn’t all bad news. Here are some more notes from Monday.
— Closer Koji Uehara hasn’t been his lights-out self this spring training, allowing runs in two of his last three outings. But apparently there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.
Uehara has been using his cutter, a pitch that he’s had in his arsenal since his days in Japan but barely uses. He’s using spring training to experiment.
“I feel the hitters are getting a hang of my repertoire, which I feel I need to expand,” Uehara explained, per Bradford.
— Speaking of injuries, Rusney Castillo says his is 100 percent. Farrell told Bradford that the Red Sox outfielder has passed all his physical tests after suffering an oblique strain and projects to resume baseball activities Wednesday. Still, Castillo knows he might have to take it slow.
“It really hasn’t been that difficult just because I’ve been informed and I always thought health is priority No. 1 right now,” Castillo said through a translator. “It’s a long season so there’s still time to recover and make sure I recover right and not rush it.”
The Red Sox are hopeful Castillo can take batting practice in the coming days, according to the team’s official website.
— Kelly’s injury put the Red Sox in a sticky situation Monday, but luckily the bullpen had his back. Steven Wright and Alexi Ogando stood out among the day’s relievers, who didn’t allow a single run after Kelly’s exit.
Wright’s knuckleball got him through three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, while Ogando pitched a perfect fourth inning, striking out two.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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