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Red Sox option Joe Kelly to Triple-A Pawtucket

The struggling righty joins Allen Craig in the minors.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

In a flurry of roster moves on Thursday, the Red Sox optioned self-proclaimed AL Cy Young award favorite Joe Kelly to Triple-A Pawtucket while bringing back Justin Masterson to take his spot in the rotation. In addition, Boston designated Erik Kratz for assignment while placing Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list with a hamstring strain and calling up Jonathan Aro, Jackie Bradley Jr., and former first-round pick Deven Marrero.

Kelly, has struggled mightily for the Sox all season, posting a 2-5 record and 5.67 ERA in fourteen starts. He joins former Cardinals teammate Allen Craig at Triple-A, representing how Boston's trade of John Lackey to the Cardinals for Kelly and Craig last season is shaping up to be one of the most lopsided quick-impact deals in recent memory. Lackey is 6-4 with a 3.41 ERA in fourteen starts with the Cards this season, while making more than $100K less than Kelly due to a clause in his contract.

Masterson, who is returning from the disabled list after struggling early in the season, will immediately replace Kelly in the rotation alongside Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello and rookie sensation Eduardo Rodriguez. Top prospect Brian Johnson has been excellent at Triple-A and is making a case to be promoted, though the Sox seem to be willing to give Masterson another chance in the rotation before committing to another young southpaw in their long-term rotation.