Steven Wright won’t pitch for Red Sox in ALDS

Steven Wright
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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.