Matt Barnes looks set to blow past the career-high 66 2/3 innings he logged last season, but he’s going to get a breather over the next week and a half.
The Red Sox on Tuesday placed the right-handed relief pitcher on the 10-day disabled list with a low back strain. The club recalled right-handed pitcher Hector Velazquez in a corresponding move.
Barnes is having the best season of his young career, but he’s hit a bit of a wall lately. He’s allowed four earned runs in eight innings, giving up eight hits and walking three in his last five outings. Barnes came on in the eighth inning Monday night looking to hold a one-run lead and proceeded to walk the leadoff batter and allow a single before John Farrell pulled him.
Barnes also has been much worse on the road than at Fenway Park, with a 5.53 ERA and 1.446 WHIP (and 19 walks) in 29 appearances. Coincidentally (perhaps), the Red Sox play 10 of their next 13 games on the road.
Velazquez will be making his fourth tour of duty with the big club. He’s been primarily used as a starter in Pawtucket, but two of his four outings at the major league level came out of the bullpen.
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