Before the season began, the Boston Red Sox found themselves with too many outfielders, an issue they “resolved” by sending Cuban signee Rusney Castillo to Triple-A Pawtucket and inserting Shane Victorino – he of 2013 fame and 2014 failure – back into the starting lineup. At the time, the response across Red Sox Nation was nearly unanimous; Victorino would start on the big league roster, and when he inevitably got hurt, Castillo would be called up.
Here on April 25th, it turns out they were half right. Victorino was placed on the 15-day DL today with a strained hamstring, surprising nobody. However, with Castillo also rehabbing an injury and the Sox in need of bullpen help, it’s Matt Barnes, not Castillo, getting the call-up.
Barnes will provide the Red Sox bullpen some much-needed innings; as of the end of Friday night’s game, Red Sox starters had recorded an out in the seventh inning only three times and not since April 13th, according to Sox beat writer Pete Abraham. With the bullpen overworked while the starters work through their troubles, Barnes is a much-needed addition.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox have plenty of outfield choices. In Victorino’s absence, look for Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, and Brock Holt to take the reigns in a platoon situation. Manager John Farrell has already said Holt will be in the lineup on Sunday after a day off Saturday, though whether that is in the outfield or someplace else remains to be seen.
Victorino, prior to this injury, was hitting only .143 in 43 plate appearances with one double.