Joe Kelly

Red Sox pregame notes: Joe Kelly to stay in rotation, Justin Masterson to make 3rd rehab start

Ryan Hannable
June 07, 2015 - 7:57 am
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After Joe Kelly's six inning, one-run performance Saturday against the Athletics, the right-hander proved he deserved to stay in the Red Sox' rotation as they go from six to five starters this week. Sunday morning manager John Farrell confirmed Kelly will stay in the rotation and Steven Wright will be moved to the bullpen as of Sunday. "Both have pitched well," Farrell said. "Both have pitched probably well enough to remain in the rotation or to earn a rotation spot. When you set aside a couple of the bumps that Joe Kelly has had of late, one in Minnesota, he's got the ability to be a dominant starter. Yesterday was a glimpse of that. There's been other outings where he's pitched to that capability and we feel like we're going to stay the course with Joe Kelly in the rotation." After four straight starts in late April to early May of allowing at least five earned runs, Kelly has bounced back over his last five starts, allowing two earned runs or less in four of them. The only poor outing was when he allowed seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings on Memorial Day against Minnesota. Saturday was his first win since his first start of the year against the Yankees. Farrell feels Kelly is at his best when he uses both his hard fastball and off-speed pitches consistently. "When he uses the full assortment of pitches and I think over the past three weeks or so he's pitched to both sides of the plate a little bit more regularly," Farrell said of when Kelly is at his best. "It's pitch execution really where it would be for any guy." -- Justin Masterson will make his third rehab start Wednesday with Pawtucket after coming off two prior ones -- with Pawtucket last Sunday and Friday with Double-A Portland. On Friday Masterson went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, while walking one and striking out two. "In just talking with Justin yesterday, getting what he experienced going through the start, he felt like the first couple of innings were trying to get settled in," Farrell said. "You felt good about the final three innings. Not just the results, but the way the ball was getting out of his hand, the reaction of the hitters. We want to be sure that that question doesn't exist once he's ready to return to us." -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval returns to the Red Sox lineup after missing the past two games to regroup after a tough day Thursday in the 8-4 loss to the Twins, as he committed two errors. He's also been struggling at the plate as he is in the midst of an 0-for-12 skid and since May 12 he'€™s hitting just .117 (7-for-60) with one extra-base hit and two RBIs. Farrell is hopeful the two down days will get him back on track and noted his attitude still remains positive. "I'd like to think that is a benefit of giving a couple days down to a guy," Farrell said. "Pablo certainly is not the first, nor will he be the last to maybe take a step back and kind of regroup. Given the stretch of games that we've come through and he was experiencing, I think it was called for. He's still as positive and as outgoing as he ever is knowing he's back in the lineup. He said, 'I'm glad you didn't forget about me' by seeing the lineup today. He's ready to go."

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