Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright will undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season. Wright was added to the 10-day disabled list earlier this week with what was called a left knee sprain. He had been pitching through it for some time, but it finally got to the point that he could not deal with it any longer. He will have a cartilage restoration procedure on Monday to repair the damage in his knee. Kyle Kendrick has been recalled and will start in place of Wright on Thursday. It remains to be seen if Kendrick will take Wright’s spot in the rotation permanently.
Wright will have cartilage restoration procedure on left knee. It’s been a tough 18 months for the knuckleballer.
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) May 4, 2017
Steven Wright Done for the Season
Last year, Wright went on a tear to open the season. He was named to his first All-Star game and was one of the best pitchers in the American League. Then, disaster struck. On August 7, in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wright was inserted as a pinch runner in the sixth inning. When diving back into second to avoid a pickoff attempt, Wright injured his shoulder. He as later diagnosed with bursitis, and hit the disabled list.
After three weeks, Wright returned to the mound and surrendered nine runs over his next 10 innings. Though the organization claimed it did not rush him back from the DL, Wright stated that he was pitching at 50 percent strength from that point on.
The effects of that injury carried over into the 2017 season. Though occasionally effective, Wright’s knuckleball just didn’t have the life it once had. His arm angle, too, remained where it was in 2016 post-injury – about two inches lower than his pre-injury angle.
Hopefully, the time on the disabled list will allow Wright to not only bring his knee back to full health, but to fully rehab his shoulder as well. If he can regain his early 2016 form, he will be an asset in 2018. For now, however, the Red Sox have to focus on filling in an already-thin rotation. David Price is nearing a return, but still has yet to make a rehab start. Perhaps Kendrick can hold down the fort in the meantime. If he can’t Boston will have to turn to Brandon Workman, Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, or the trade market.