Things just refuse to get better for the Boston Red Sox. After a tough month of April that saw the team ravaged by the flu and by inconsistency at the plate, the Sox opened May by placing starting pitcher Steven Wright on the 10-day disabled list. The knuckleballer has been dealing with a left knee sprain for some time, but the injury grew more pronounced over the last weekend. Brandon Workman has been recalled to take Wright’s roster spot.
Steven Wright is going on the DL with a sprained knee. Brandon Workman will come up.
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) May 2, 2017
Steven Wright Shut Down with Knee Sprain
Last year, Wright enjoyed a breakout campaign for almost half the season. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, and he garnered some attention as a Cy Young candidate. Then, after being inserted into a game as a pinch runner, Wright injured his pitching shoulder sliding into second base. He hit the DL and though he eventually returned, he never looked the same.
Wright had been faring no better in 2017. Though he had been mostly solid, aside from one or two stinkers, he still hadn’t regained his early-2016 form. Brian Bannister, who does pitcher analysis for the Red Sox, noticed recently that Wright’s arm angle is lower than it was pre-shoulder injury. Seemingly thanks to a questionable decision by manager John Farrell (just one in a long line), Wright may never again be the pitcher he was. Admittedly, there may be other reasons for Wright’s regression. Knuckleballers are notoriously unpredictable. This version of him may just be who he is. However, there does seem to be some connection between the shoulder injury and his precipitous decline.
Red Sox’s Brian Bannister noticed Steven Wright’s arm angle two inches lower, which is where it was last year after the injury.
— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) April 29, 2017
Problems Pile Up
Though the Red Sox should be getting reinforcements to their pitching staff soon, with David Price, Tyler Thornburg, and Carson Smith all inching toward returns, the team can ill-afford for much else to go wrong. Two of the teams supposed strengths, its bats and its gloves, have abandoned it. Though the team is riddled with talented players who have been hitting, hits with runners on base have been all but non-existent. In the field, the Red Sox have already committed two four-error games this season, and have committed a total of 23 errors, the second-most of any team this season.
Boston’s rotation, led by Price, Rick Porcello, and Chris Sale, was supposed to be another strength. Porcello and Sale have been outstanding, and the other members have done their parts. Yet, with Price already out, losing another starter hurts. Rotational depth is an issue for most teams, and the Red Sox are no different. Here’s to hoping Wright makes a full and quick recovery.