John Farrell: ‘Right Time’ To Remove Justin Masterson From Rotation

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The Boston Red Sox couldn’t wait any longer.

The Red Sox placed Justin Masterson on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with right shoulder tendinitis, paving the way for knuckleballer Steven Wright to start Sunday’s game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Masterson hasn’t looked right this season, forcing Boston to make a decision regarding his rotation spot.

“After Justin was examined further in Oakland, it was revealed he got some inflammation in his shoulder,” Farrell told reporters in Seattle before Thursday’s game. “Clearly, we’ve seen over the last two starts, it’s had a negative effect on the overall stuff and the action to his pitches.

“So we felt it was the right time to back him out of the rotation and get over this and insert Steven.”

Masterson is 2-2 with a 6.37 ERA this season. The right-hander pitched less than five innings in three of his seven starts, including his last two outings. He surrendered six earned runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics.

Masterson, who signed a one-year contract with Boston over the offseason after a disappointing 2014 campaign split between the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals, has had success in the past, even earning an All-Star selection with the Tribe in 2013. The 30-year-old has suffered from diminished velocity dating back to last season, though, so the Red Sox took a proactive approach in placing him on the shelf.

“There will be a couple of days when the medication starts to take hold,” Farrell said Thursday. “At some point in the near future, he’ll get back on the mound to throw a couple of bullpens. But we need to test it at full speed, in a rehab setting, before getting him back on the mound for us.”

It’s unclear exactly how long Masterson will be sidelined. Farrell said he doesn’t believe the veteran pitcher is dealing with a severe case of tendinitis, but it certainly seems like something that could keep Masterson out of action for a little bit, especially if someone, like Wright, thrives in his absence.

Thumbnail photo via Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports Images

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