BOSTON -- Before Saturday night's 4-1 victory against the White Sox, the Red Sox announced that reliever Joe Kelly rejoined the active roster following a three-week stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
The news comes in the wake of a lone rehab outing Wednesday in which Kelly pitched a spotless inning for Triple-A Pawtucket, striking out one batter while throwing just eight pitches (six for strikes).
Kelly emerged from the outing in good shape and was given a couple of extra days of rest before his activation.
"It's feeling better," the reliever said of his left hamstring. "I went down to Pawtucket and threw one inning. There were no setbacks and I feel good after that. I think I'm ready for it and I'm looking forward to it."
Though unsure of how long it may take before Kelly will be available on back-to-back days, manager John Farrell seemed confident in inserting the hard-throwing right-hander back into high-leverage situations right away.
"Joe steps right back in and if there's a seventh- or eighth-inning opportunity, he's likely going to be called upon," Farrell said. "How many opportunities or innings he's going to need before we can say, 'Hey, you can go back-to-back days,' that's still to be determined."
Kelly, who is 3-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 34 appearances, does not expect to lose any of his velocity, which has routinely pushed over 100 mph, given that he was able to throw throughout his time on the DL.
"[I'm] really confident," he said. "I feel strong. I feel good. I didn't stop throwing, so it's not like I have to rebuild arm strength."
While the bullpen got a boost, the lineup took another hit as Hanley Ramirez was deemed unavailable Saturday after being removed from Friday night's 3-2, 11-inning win with a right oblique injury.
Ramirez said after Friday's game that his left oblique had been sore before the game. Following an eighth-inning swing his right oblique became sore, compounding his removal.
Farrell was uncertain how the injury would affect the club's designated hitter moving forward, calling it a "classic day to day" case.
"He's got some soreness on both sides, in the oblique areas," Farrell said. "I can't tell you how long it's going to be. I don't, at this point, foresee it being a DL, but we'll see how he comes in [Sunday]."
With Ramirez out, Boston was left with a bench of just shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who was on a normal off-day, and catcher Sandy Leon.
Pedroia could return Tuesday
Farrell added that second baseman Dustin Pedroia was able to swing in the cage Saturday and continued ramping up of baseball activities, providing hope that he could be activated off the 10-day DL on Tuesday, when he's eligible.
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.