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Carson Smith Will Start Season on DL

The Boston Red Sox will have to start their season off without relief pitcher Carson Smith in the bullpen.

Smith exited Monday’s exhibition against Miami after facing just one batter, complaining of cramping in his right forearm.

An MRI the next day revealed a strain of the flexor mass muscle. This is not good news, though it could have been worse as forearm cramping can be a sign of needing Tommy John surgery.

“There’s no throwing schedule in place yet,” Farrell told ESPN after the Red Sox lost 3-0 to the Miami Marlins in an exhibition game. “We’ve got to get a few days of treatment just to see how he comes through that. This is a little bit of a setback, obviously.”

Smith posted a 2.31 ERA last year with 13 saves and 92 strikeouts.

“For the most part, it feels natural. It’s not forced,” Smith told NESN last week. “If I tried to throw over the top, that would be forced. I’m just running with it. It feels good, healthy — knock on wood. But for the most part, I feel real comfortable with it.”

Smith’s injury opens the door for right handed pitchers Matt Barnes and Noe Ramirez, who otherwise would have started the season off Triple A.

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