Right-handed hitters are only batting .170 against Sox pitcher Justin Masterson. Mike Timlin, Hideki Okajima, Craig Hansen, and Manny Delcarmen are struggling in the pen. The Sox have 6 healthy starting pitchers.
At this point, moving Justin Masterson to the pen is the next natural step. Four games behind the Rays, the Sox can’t afford to lose games blown in late innings. The Sox hope that with Masterson’s solid presence in either the 7th or 8th innings, there will be less pressure on the rest of the bullpent.
Masterson will do a short stint in AAA to adjust to pitching in relief. Clay Buchholz will eventually replace him in the rotation, but first baseman Jeff Bailey was recalled in the meantime to take his roster spot.