Wednesday August 28, 2013 | 06:19 PM

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Matt Barnes was supposed to start tonight for the Portland Sea Dogs against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Only problem is that Barnes is not here.

Barnes has been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. The move will not become official until Thursday - when Barnes is expected to start for the PawSox. The Sea Dogs could not officially comment on the move, but Barnes has arrived in Pawtucket, according to media reports from there.

Barnes, 23, began the season as the No. 1 Red Sox pitching prospect, according to Baseball America. He got off to a rough start with a 9.00 ERA in April. He has shined occasionally since and leaves Portland with a 5-10 record and 4.33 ERA.

Barnes' departure means that the touted four starters, who began the year for the Sea Dogs, are all gone. Drake Britton and Brandon Workman are with the Boston Red Sox, and Anthony Ranaudo is also in Pawtucket.

The Sea Dogs believe that Barnes will eventually land in the majors, and the grind of this season will help.

"When he pitches on that major league stage, he's not just going to throw his glove out and expect the game to be easy," Portland pitching coach Bob Kipper said. "He's going to draw from some of the experiences he's had in this 2013 season and he's going to know how to win a grind."

The Sea Dogs will return to Portland Friday for their final regular-season home stand.



About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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