What Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright’s suspension means for his future with the team

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31: Steven Wright
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31: Steven Wright /

Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended for 80 games to begin the 2019 season.

Red Sox knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright has had a rocky few seasons in Boston. Wright was an All-Star in 2016 and has had some injury problems since then. In 2018 he started the season late following left knee surgery and served a 15 game suspension for domestic violence. He would go back on the disabled list in June because of his knee and would return in September.

Wright would be scratched from the playoff roster prior to the ALDS. He was looking to start off in the right direction but instead, he’s being suspended 80 games for testing positive for a growth-hormone-releasing peptide according to ESPN. It’s not a good way to start the season and could impact his future with the team.

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Wright was rehabbing his knee during spring training and looking forward to pitching out of the bullpen in 2019. With this being another setback for him it now opens a roster spot in the bullpen when the season starts. In January Wright signed a one year 1.375 million contract according to ESPN. After this latest news, his future with the Red Sox could be done after this season as he’s ineligible to pitch in the playoffs now because of the suspension.

Between the injuries, domestic violence, and now the PED’s I’m not sure Wright has a good future with the Sox after this season. This latest suspension falls on him now with him out 80 games to start the season who knows how he’ll be when he comes back. Cora is smart and will use him out of the bullpen wisely. Wright is a much better pitcher in the late innings than the beginning of games.

According to Baseball Savant his ERA is 9.00, 4.500, 2.25, and 9.00 in innings 1-4. In innings 7-9 his ERA is 1.54, 2.84, and 3.38. Cora was probably going to use Wright as an eighth-inning reliever.  If I’m Cora I wouldn’t pitch Wright out of the bullpen unless the games were out of reach,  the Sox don’t need him to blow games when he first comes back.

Wright does take responsibility but doesn’t know how this substance got into his body. According to Jason Mastrodnato Wright didn’t feel obligated to tell the Red Sox about the suspension until last week. He found out about it during the offseason and appealed. If he told them earlier they could’ve used the time to get another arm in the bullpen.

He did have the same surgery Dustin Pedroia had and you would think they would be taking the same things. If Pedroia knew what he was taking then Wright should’ve too. This puts a dagger into the Sox bullpen to begin the season as they are short as it is. They can’t have starting pitching come out to relief in the 8th inning of a regular season game.

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While rehabbing an injury as an athlete you should know what’s going into your body. Especially when baseball does a  drug test. Maybe Wright wanted to come back quicker and took something he shouldn’t have taken, we’ll never know. He’s had a rocky time in Boston and the Sox need all the help they can in the bullpen for the 2019 season. This isn’t a a promising start to the season losing Wright, but time will tell if he can be an asset when he returns.