Steven Wright
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Steven Wright won’t pitch for Red Sox in ALDS

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Update, 2:03 PM EDT: According to an official announcement, Wright will be replaced by Heath Hembree for the remainder of the ALDS.

Red Sox reliever Steen Wright is expected to be removed from the club’s ALDS roster, per Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. The right-hander experienced a bout of knee pain prior to the start of Friday’s game and was held back so he could undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. While a formal diagnosis has not yet been revealed, he’ll sit out of the remainder of the Division Series and will not be eligible to pitch should the Red Sox advance to the ALCS.

Wright, 34, was laid up with chronic inflammation in his left knee during the bulk of the 2018 season. He missed 10 weeks on the disabled list and was activated on September 1, after which he pitched to a solid 0.66 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 13 2/3 innings. The inflammation was likely an offshoot of the cartilage restoration surgery he underwent in May 2017, and this appears to be a similar recurrence. Per Drellich, Wright will visit a knee specialist in New York, at which point he’ll likely receive a more concrete timetable for his return to the team.

A replacement for Wright has not yet been announced, though Drellich speculates that rookie left-hander Bobby Poyner or right-hander Heath Hembree might sub in for the veteran righty for the remainder of the series. Assuming everything checks out with his knee, Wright would still be eligible to return to the Red Sox’ bullpen in the World Series, should the team advance that far past the Yankees, Astros, and Indians over the next couple of weeks.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.