Matt Barnes

Observations from JetBlue Park: Koji Uehara hurts hamstring; Matt Barnes in bullpen competition; Joe Kelly not worried

Rob Bradford
March 17, 2015 - 1:01 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The story of the game played at JetBlue Park was a Red Sox team that made four errors, with their first three pitchers -- Clay Buchholz, Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman -- giving up 10 runs on the way to an 11-3 loss to Jonny Gomes' Braves. But it was before and after the contest that the real pertinent news surfaced ... -- Koji Uehara, who was expected to pitch an inning Tuesday, was scratched after hurting his left hamstring prior to the game. "He strained his left hamstring running this morning, that's why we held him out," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's day-to-day right now ... Again, it's going to be a few days before we test him again and before we get him back into a game." Uehara has pitched in three games, two of which he allowed runs. -- The Red Sox appear to be shifting their approach when it comes to Matt Barnes, who allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in his one inning of work. Instead of continuing to stretch out Barnes as a starter, the righty will get more usage over the coming days in shorter stints in order to see his potential effectiveness as a reliever. "I wanted to take a look at him earlier in the game against more of the 'A' type lineups as opposed to the first couple of times out and today was the first exposure to that," Farrell said. "We're still taking a look at him in shorter stints right now." The manager added, "I thought he was amped up a little bit, in particular the first couple of curveballs he threw, it looked like he overthrew them a couple of times. And I think there was some adrenaline in there. As we shift his role and talk a little bit more about more frequent outings, he probably looks into that a little bit. There's some legitimate competition there. But we're not making the final decision on the roster today." -- Joe Kelly, who left Monday's game with biceps soreness, came out of his throwing Tuesday in good shape. The pitcher told WEEI.com that his plan is to play catch again Wednesday before throwing off a mound Thursday. "I feel good right now. Just a little sore, but not much going on there today," he said. "It was a lot different [than Monday]. It died down. It wasn't as aggravating. There was a little bit there, but nothing to be worried about." As for making his next scheduled start, Sunday, Kelley noted, "If it was up to me I would be doing it, but the medical staff and coaches want to see how I feel when I throw off the mound before we jump to any conclusions. ... I'm not alarmed over it." -- Rusney Castillo will return to action Wednesday, participating in minor league games for the next few days on the back fields at Fenway South. -- Christian Vazquez, who felt soreness in his right elbow Friday night after gunning down a basestealer, was hopeful that he would be returning to the Red Sox' lineup Friday. -- Brandon Workman experienced a tough outing in his quest to earn a spot in the bullpen, giving up four runs on four hits in his inning. "Until his velocity gets back to where he's been at previously pitching out of the bullpen, he's got to locate," said Farrell of Workman, whose ERA stands at 12.00. "And when he didn't today, we saw what happened." -- Hanley Ramirez made easily his best catch of the spring, sprinting in front of center fielder Mookie Betts in the fourth inning. "That was for Arnie [Beyeler]," said Ramirez after the game, referencing his outfield coach who has been working with the left fielder throughout camp.

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