The Red Sox placed knuckleballer Steven Wright on the 10-day disabled list yesterday due to left knee inflammation. There is no word on how long he could be out.
This comes after Wright started the season on the DL because of knee surgery. He came back in mid-May and pitched out of the bullpen. But since Drew Pomeranz went on the DL with bicep tightness and neck soreness, Wright has slotted into his spot in the starting rotation.
Wright pitched well in his first three games back in the rotation. He only gave up one run in 20.2 innings. But in his most recent start on Friday against Seattle, he was charged with 10 runs on 10 hits in 3.1 innings.
What has happened to Wright this year is similar to what happened to Dustin Pedroia. They had the same surgery in the offseason and returned within a couple of weeks of each other. But they have both ended up back on the DL due to inflammation.
"I mean, it's frustrating because you want to go out there and compete," Wright told reporters. "But when I had the surgery, they kind of told me this was going to happen – you're going to have really good weeks, you're going to have really bad weeks and it's going to come to a point where you're not going to have to worry about it."
This is a very similar sentiment to what Pedroia expressed when he was first placed back on the DL. But that was on May 30 and we haven’t heard of much progress since.
"One thing for sure, we have an idea where we're at with Dustin as far as treatment,” manager Alex Cora said. “Hopefully when Steven goes to New York and sees the doctor and comes back, we can attack it right away and it doesn't take long”
Brian Johnson will be starting in Wright’s place on Thursday night in the series finale against the Angels. Johnson started a game early on in the season against the Marlins in which he went six innings of one-run ball while striking out five and walking two. Since then, Johnson has been the only lefty in the Red Sox bullpen. He has a 5.10 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 30 total relief innings.
“Coming into the season, we knew we were going to have some situations like this,” Cora said. “And having some guys in the Minor Leagues and obviously Hector [Velazquez] and [Johnson], we feel comfortable they're going to do the job."
If Wright is sidelined for longer than the team is hoping, it looks like Drew Pomeranz could be on his way back fairly soon. He will pitch a simulated game at Fenway Park on Wednesday and then will “most likely” need a rehab assignment.
To take Wright’s spot on the roster, Justin Haley was recalled from Triple-A. He was thrown right into the action last night and pitched a clean and scoreless ninth inning to secure a 9-1 win against the Angels.
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