Matt Barnes Stretching His Arm Back Out

Matt Barnes
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Pitching two scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in relief on April 25th, the effects of the big league club renting PawSox starting pitcher Matt Barnes still linger.

En route to the big league club’s 5-4 loss against the Baltimore Orioles that Saturday, Barnes allowed two hits and struck out one. Closer Koji Uehara gave up a solo shot in thematt barnes tenth, taking home the loss in a heart breaker.

On Friday, Barnes had his first start since April 19th and gave the PawSox four sharp innings on a strict 75-80 pitch limit.

In the first inning, he gave up a solo home run, but it was the sole blemish on a rather productive outing. He went four innings and gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven. In all, PawSox pitching fanned 13 batters in the loss. Barnes got a no-decision for his efforts.
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“It was fine,” Barnes said of his arm following the outing. “It’s just one of those things where you have to dial it back up a bit, but it feels good.”

So far this season Barnes has not been able to throw a full outing for Pawtucket. Before being called up to Boston, Barnes was working on getting his arm back up to par after fighting for a spot in the bullpen this spring. His efforts were unsuccessful, although he fanned 18 hitters in 13 innings.

Manager Kevin Boles is pleased with the way Barnes is pitching, but he held off in giving a time and date as to when he would be pitching a full outing without any limits.
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“We’ll see about that,” he said. “We shortened up his pitch count since he threw two innings in the big leagues. We’re going to do right and build him up over time. Again, it’s a quality arm and the versatility he shows starting and relieving is impressive.”

Red Sox Spring Training Notes

RED SOX SPRING TRAINING

With Opening Day less than a month away and the home opener a couple of weeks after that, the Boston Red Sox are gearing up for the regular season with Spring Training. So far, the team has only played a handful of games, so few conclusions can be drawn from the sample size. Despite such a small sample size, here are a few notes from Grapefruit League action so far this year.
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Second base prospect Sean Coyle has made a few appearances at third base for the Red Sox this Spring. Previously, Coyle experimented with the position with the Portland Sea red soxDogs last year while top Mookie Betts held down Coyle’s natural position.

Last year, Coyle struggled at the position, booting six balls in 18 games— but it is clear that the team wants to add to his versatility so that they can get his bat in their lineup sometime down the road. That same year, he hit .295 with a .371 on-base percentage and 40 extra base hits (including 16 home runs) in 97 games for the Red Sox AA affiliate.
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Manager John Farrell stated that he has been impressed by right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes from what he has seen during Red Sox spring training. Topping out at 97 MPH in relief, he could be a dark horse candidate for a relief spot this season. So far he has made just one appearance this year and he tossed a pair of scoreless frames while punching out three.

When the Red Sox scrimmaged the Northeastern Huskies last Tuesday, it was Huskies pitcher Aaron Civale that shined the brightest of any player at JetBlue Park. The reliever threw two scoreless frames, facing quite possibly the toughest part of the Red Sox lineup. Striking out David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts, he had a game he will not forget anytime soon.
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Desperate for a spot on the Red Sox, switch-hitting outfielder Daniel Nava is only hitting from the left side of the plate now and is taking extra reps at first base which he has only played occasionally these past two seasons. He will do whatever it takes to keep his spot on this Red Sox team and looks to make the team over former Cardinals first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig.

Red Sox Call-Up Matt Barnes, Makes Debut In Relief

Matt Barnes

It looks like Jackie Bradley Jr. is not the only Boston Red Sox first round pick from 2011 who will pay off.

On Monday, in an unsurprising move, the Red Sox called up pitcher Matt Barnes from AAA Pawtucket. Barnes, 24, posted a 3.95 ERA in 23 outings for the Paw Sox this year, 22 of which were starts.
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Adding Barnes to the 40-man roster protects him from being selected in the Rule V Draft this upcoming December.

The corresponding roster move transferred Hawaiian outfielder Shane Victorino to the 60-day DL.

On Tuesday, Barnes made his MLB debut, and it was one to remember. Tossing just his second career pro outing in relief, Barnes looked like a natural. Giving Boston three great innings— allowing three hits while punching out a pair of batters.

The most pleasant surprise of the outing was the cheddar so-to-speak. Known as a flamethrower who often hit 98 mph in his college career, Barnes has toned it down a notch as of late. In his most recent AAA outings, his fastball sat comfortable around 90-91 mph. On Tuesday however, Barnes consistently hit 95-96 mph on the radar gun and sat comfortably at 93 mph according to the PitchFx tool on Fangraphs. With this in mind, expect Barnes to bring on more velocity in his relief outings than he would as a starter.
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Despite putting up modest numbers for the Paw Sox, Barnes is a much better pitcher than his numbers indicate. At first, it appeared as though Barnes had met his match in AAA, but that could not be any further from the truth. Since the all-star break, in nine starts, his ERA in Pawtucket stands at 2.10. He has struck out 7.8 per nine innings and walking just 2.3 men.

Although Barnes is a starter by trade, he will be used out of the bullpen for the rest of this season. Boston is already using a six-man rotation as it is right now, so there would be no chance they bump it up to seven. Luckily for Barnes, with a solid performance here, he may have a good chance to break the roster as a reliever come 2015.
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In his pro career, Barnes has only made one other relief appearance. When he pitched in relief, Barnes hurled three scoreless frames on three hits while striking out two — almost identical to his outing in the big leagues. Now though, it is clear his first relief appearance was not be his last.

He last pitched on September 4th and gave the Paw Sox an impressive outing. Going seven strong, Barnes allowed no runs on three hits while punching-out six. He was scheduled to make another start in the playoffs, but obviously he will not be making that start now.
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Barnes will wear No. 68 for the Red Sox and is available to go whenever he is needed.