Ace move begs the Wright questions

Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

Since early in May of the 2016 season, Steven Wright was declared unequivocally the ace of the Red Sox rotation.

Were you surprised when Wright was asked to pinch run last Sunday for David Ortiz in a National League game against the Dodgers?

I was.

Let me explain my thinking.

Let's, for the sake of argument, put aside the fact that David Price was pitching in the game and assume it was him on the bench with what was left at that point in the game. John Farrell's bench would have been Sandy Leon, Hanley Ramirez and Price. Do you think he pinch-runs Price for Ortiz then?

Does he even entertain the thought of using a $217 million dollar player as a pinch-runner?

Putting the question of using a reliever to other baseball writers, "Why not use Clay Buchholz, as he is not used much in relief and considered expendable by the Red Sox, right?"

What did I expect, this is traditional baseball thinking and hindsight is 20-20, but why risk your ace pitcher, ever?

The results are now articles about Buchholz replacing Wright in the rotation instead of a small side article about a reliever being injured.

No matter what the traditional 'baseball book' says about how you never pinch-run with a reliever, this decision is looking worse the more you dig into the details. When asked, Wright said he hadn't run the bases since 2003 or 2004. That is when he was in high school or starting college baseball.

When pushed on why he lead off so far that a head first dive back to the bag was necessary, we really see how bad the choice to use Wright was. He stated, "I wasn't going to try to score like other hitters would on a single, I wanted to make sure I had a good enough secondary where if it's a double, I could score."

This has so far not resulted in a stint on the disabled list, but it could. It has already resulted in removal from the starting rotation and put Buchholz back in, something that has been avoided for obvious reasons.

Do you cross your fingers that Wright is back next start?

Do you cross your fingers that playing this game by the traditional 'baseball book' does not results in the loss of the Red Sox ace?

Do you cross your fingers that next time the Red Sox need a pinch-runner that they do look to the bullpen?

Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

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