It appears as though Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes is getting closer to a return with the big-league club.
Barnes, who hasn’t pitched for the Red Sox since May 30 due to right shoulder inflammation, has already made several rehab assignments and is set to ramp things up in the coming week, Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians at Fenway Park.
Cora laid out the upcoming timeline for the right-handed hurler, as he has a few more rehab assignments on the docket.
“He’ll pitch tonight (for Double-A Portland), get two days off and then back-to-back I think is Friday and Saturday,” Cora told reporters, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith.
If all goes well for Barnes in those appearances, it is possible the 32-year-old could rejoin the Red Sox next week as they embark on a seven-game road trip.
“I believe so. We’ll see,” Cora told reporters when asked if Barnes might be back with Boston following the homestand.
While Barnes has struggled this season with the Red Sox by posting a 7.94 ERA in 17 innings, he can still be a benefit to the bullpen if he can regain any of his All-Star form from the first half of the 2021 season.
And with Garrett Whitlock, John Schreiber and Tanner Houck assuming the high-leverage roles, there should be less pressure on Barnes to perform upon his return.