Red Sox Won’t Use Fifth Starter Until June 18, Considering Internal Options

The Boston Red Sox are down a starter after optioning Joe Kelly to Triple-A Pawtucket following Wednesday’s 13-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, but it won’t be a problem for them until mid-June.

Thanks to three well placed off-days coming up, the Red Sox actually can go until June 18 without needing a fifth starter, and Boston manager John Farrell said Thursday that’s exactly what the team is going to do. The skipper acknowledged, however, that the rotation wasn’t on the Red Sox’s mind when Kelly was demoted after giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.

“I can tell you that probably wasn’t thought of (Wednesday) night,” Farrell said, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “We needed to get another arm here. We have a break in the schedule that allows us to do that. We need better, bottom-line.”

Farrell told reporters Clay Buchholz, Roenis Elias and Kelly are the leading candidates, but the Red Sox will take their time sorting things out.

“We’ll take the next two-plus weeks to evaluate that,” Farrell said, per Bradford. “In Clay’s situation, it’s going to be when has he most recently pitched and will he be eligible to make that first start at that date, so we’ve got some time to work through that.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via May 26, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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