Boston’s roster is being overhauled today. In addition to putting Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list and calling up both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Deven Marrero from Triple-A the Red Sox have also demoted right-hander Joe Kelly to Pawtucket.
Kelly actually managed to stay in the rotation for a month after reports of him being “clearly on thin ice” surfaced in late May, but the Red Sox eventually got tired of waiting for him to turn things around. Kelly posted a 5.67 ERA in 14 starts and heads back to the minors at age 27 and with more than 400 career innings as a big leaguer.
Last year’s trade deadline swap that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals for Kelly and Allen Craig looks like a total bust for the Red Sox. Kelly has a 4.96 ERA in 24 starts for Boston, Craig has hit .130 in 53 games for Boston, and now they’re teammates in Pawtucket.
Justin Masterson will step into Kelly’s rotation spot, although he may not be on the sturdiest of ice himself.
Dustin Pedroia exited Wednesday’s game with a strained hamstring and now the former MVP-winning second baseman is headed to the disabled list, with the Red Sox calling up prospect Deven Marrero from Triple-A to take his roster spot.
Pedroia suffered the injury after hitting a two-run single, rounding first base and then hopping back to the bag in pain. He was having a nice bounceback season after a rough 2014, hitting .307 with nine homers and an .819 OPS to basically match his career numbers at age 31.
Marrero was the Red Sox’s first-round draft pick in 2012 and was expected to move quickly through the minors as a college shortstop, but instead he’s struggled to turn himself into a productive hitter. This season at Triple-A he hit .241 with four homers and a .644 OPS in 66 games and Marrero has a lifetime .683 OPS as a pro.
Brock Holt, not Marrero, is starting at second base in Pedroia’s absence today. And that makes sense given how well Holt has hit while playing all over the diamond as a super-utility man. Marrero figures to serve as a bench player for now.
Matt Kemp has faded badly following a good April and Wednesday the Padres tried him in the leadoff spot, where he last played in 2010 for the Dodgers.
Kemp went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and the Padres were shut out by the Giants. He’s now hitting .199 with a .239 on-base percentage and .281 slugging percentage since May 1, striking out 58 times compared to eight walks in 50 games.
Meanwhile, catcher Yasmandi Gandal, whom the Padres traded to the Dodgers for Kemp, has an .846 OPS that ranks second among all MLB catchers behind only Stephen Vogt of the A’s.