Now that the 2015 season is in the books, the BoSox Injection staff will hand out their final report cards, grading the performances of each member of the Boston Red Sox roster based on their expectations entering the season.
Wright 2015 stats: 4.09 ERA, 16 G, 5W, 4L, 72.2 IP, 52 SO.
Before the 2012 season, Red Sox Nation knew the name of Steven Wright thanks to the long-time Red Sox fan and philosophical comedian. But after the 2012 trade deadline, we met a “young” pitcher named Steven Wright who was traded to the Red Sox from the Cleveland Indians. With the knuckleball as his specialty, Wright soon became an unsung hero in Boston thanks to his perfomance in AAA and sporadical appearances at the Major League level.
After Joe Kelly injured himself in Spring Training, Wright received the opportunity of being called up and cover his spot for the start of the regular season. I’m sure we all remember the first game against the Yankees, where the Red Sox battled against them for 19 innings. We might recall David Ortiz first home run of the season and Wade Miley‘s debut as a member of the Red Sox, but Wright was the one who saved the team. After manager John Farrell emptied his bullpen, Wright entered the game and pitched 5.0 innings in relief to earn the win. Basically he pitched almost a quarter of the game. His perfomance in that night against the Yankees describes perfectly what he was for the Red Sox this season: a dependable pitcher who helped them when they needed one.
Call to the Pen
The 31-year old rookie obviously is not an ace or even close to becoming one, but the he served as a reliable arm when a starting pitcher was sent down to AAA or the bullpen was not showing its best. Wright’s ERA and amount of wins might trick you into thinking that this season wasn’t even close to being a success, but his numbers are actually better than some may think:
- In 9 games pitched as a starter, Wright only earned more than three runs once.
- As a reliever, he averaged 2.2 innings per appareance, pitching 5 innings twice.
- He never had a game in which he allowed a double-digits amount of hits or runs.
Even though it is well known that knuckleballers age well, Wright ended his season in August because of a contussion he sufferend during batting practice in mid August. After being placed in the DL on August 14th, Wright never rejoined the Red Sox again but he’s expected to be back with the team for Spring Training.
Wright is not Tim Wakefield and that’s ok, because that’s not what the Red Sox are looking for. This season he finally showed that he can be a solid Major League player, and even though he didn’t manage to pitch at least 100 innings, we could see that he’s able of at least being a decent pitcher whether it is as a starter or reliever. We know that changes are coming for the Red Sox and even though Wright hasn’t been named as a possible trade asset, don’t be surprised if he ends up being one.
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Wright will definetely help the team next year as a reliable back of the rotation pitcher, long reliever, or as a player involved in a blockuster trade.