Boston Red Sox send Dustin Pedroia to DL, option Joe Kelly


The Boston Red Sox made a flurry of roster moves on Thursday in the wake of several players exiting early with injuries during the previous night’s win over the Baltimore Orioles.

The most troubling of these changes has to be losing Dustin Pedroia to the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. The injury occurred when Pedroia slipped rounding first base and he was removed immediately, grabbing at the back of his leg as he limped off the field. The veteran second baseman says he has never pulled a muscle before, so this uncharted territory has left him unsure of how long it will take to recover. In typical Pedroia fashion, he insists on getting back in the lineup as soon as he can, but the Red Sox will certainly be cautious with him.

Brock Holt will take over as the primary second baseman in Pedroia’s absence, with Deven Marrero being recalled from Pawtucket to serve as the primary backup. Marrero is a shortstop by trade, but has some experience covering second base in the minor leagues.

Hanley Ramirez was sporting a brace on the wrist that was drilled by a line drive off the bat of Xander Bogaerts as he made his way toward second base last night. Ramirez says he is sore, but x-rays were negative and he expects to be back in the lineup as early as Friday. The Red Sox may be wise to hold him back an extra day or two if he’s still experiencing any soreness, which is why they have recalled Jackie Bradley, Jr. as outfield insurance.

More from Red Sox News

Bradley is best known for his elite defensive skills, but his production in Pawtucket this season has made him unrecognizable from the player we saw in Boston last year that appeared to be lost at the plate. Bradley is hitting .322/.398/.468 with 22 extra-base hits in 205 at-bats this season.

Boston designated catcher Erik Kratz for assignment to clear room for Bradley. With Blake Swihart returning to the lineup Thursday and Ryan Hanigan prepared to return in the near future, Kratz’s service were no longer needed.

Following his latest disappointing outing, the Red Sox have finally made the decision to demote struggling starter Joe Kelly. The right-hander has been optioned to Pawtucket and will be replaced in the rotation by Justin Masterson.

Kelly’s demotion means he will be joining Allen Craig in Pawtucket. Those two were acquired together last year for John Lackey, who has been a solid starter for the St. Louis Cardinals this season while pitching on a minimum contract. Can the Red Sox get a mulligan on that trade?

More from BoSox Injection

Jonathan Aro has been recalled to take Masterson’s bullpen spot. The right-hander has posted a 1.61 ERA in 22.1 innings for Pawtucket this season.

Given Masterson’s successful rehab assignment that preceded his promotion back to the big leagues, the Red Sox intend to give him another shot in the rotation. Masterson posted a 3.29 ERA in three starts during his time in Pawtucket.

Brian Johnson may have more upside, but he was pulled from his last start for precautionary reasons and would not have been ready to start again on Sunday when Masterson is expected to be used. Manager John Farrell indicated that Johnson was getting close to being ready for his big league debut and he could be the next option in line after Masterson.