Right-hander Garrett Richards is out against the Tampa Bay Rays, resulting in Matt Barnes being a late addition to the roster before the NL game.
When the Red Sox take on the Rays at Tropicana Stadium on Friday night, they will do so without one of their key right-handed pitchers: Garrett Richards.
Richards is out and on the infrared list with a left hamstring strain, opening the door for Matt Barnes to become his top replacement in the Division Series bullpen.
Red Sox promote Matt Barnes to ALDS starting roster following Garrett Richards injury
In what Red Sox MLB.com reporter Ian Browne described as “a tough slight,” Barnes initially fell off the Division Series roster earlier in the week.
As Christopher Smith wrote for MassLive, the All-Star relief pitcher posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.68 FIP in his first 35 starts this season. He struck out 45.4 percent of the hitters he faced. But he has a 5.95 ERA in 19 ⅔ innings (25 innings) since July 2.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained the initial decision to shut Barnes out, saying the Red Sox preferred left-handed over right-handed pitchers for this game.
“This guy, he’s been here for a while,” Cora said of Barnes. “He’s been here, he’s done that. But due to the uniqueness of his (the Rays) roster, we have to make some adjustments. We decided to go with the three lefties. “
The Red Sox are also dealing with an “upper body problem” with third baseman Rafael Devers, whose injury status is still unclear in the playoffs.
Despite the injuries, both Devers and Barnes hope to live up to expectations against the Rays in Tampa Bay.