The Boston Red Sox made a roster move with two right-handed pitchers. Steven Wright is being activated and Hector Velazquez is being sent to the disabled list.
A most notable and virulent strain of the flu is the famed “Hellenic Flu” that former Boston Celtics coach/GM Red Auerbach employed as an avoidance technique on roster manipulation. A player would have a sudden and mysterious injury – usually one that is difficult to diagnosis – and be placed on the injuries list. The “Flu” was in honor of the practice facility at Hellenic College where many such injuries occurred.
On Sunday in Toronto, Velazquez picked up win number five of the young season with two shutout innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. A back-breaking chore – obviously.
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Velazquez has been somewhat of a surprise with his five wins and excellent peripherals – a 1.8 BB/9, 2.10 ERA, and 1.25 WHIP.
Velazquez has made two starts for the Red Sox and winning both. In 10 2/3 innings as a starter, the former Mexican League righty has an excellent 2.53 ERA. I am sure Red Sox Nation wishes Velazquez a speedy recovery from this sudden “injury.”
The roster move allowed the Red Sox to finally activate Wright, who has finished serving a 15-game suspension. Wright – recovering from knee surgery that ended his 2017 season – pitched 14 2/3 rehab innings at Pawtucket allowing 20 hits and a 4.30 ERA.
The assumption is the 32-year-old right-handed knuckleballer will assume a similar role as the now recovering Velazquez. Wright has worked both as a starter and a relief specialist in his brief MLB career with a notable career achievement of being an All-Star in his 13-7 shortened 2016 season.
Hopefully, Wright will not be assigned any pinch-running duties by manager Alex Cora.