Red Sox Notes: Steven Wright Excited For ‘Crazy’ Homecoming Vs. Angels


Jul 20, 2015

Mother Nature cooperated for two decades. We’ll cut her some slack.

Sunday night’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim was washed out by inclement weather, marking the Halos’ first home rainout since June 16, 1995. The teams will play a doubleheader Monday, with games scheduled for 5 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. It’ll be the first doubleheader at Angel Stadium since 2003.

“I’m serious man, wherever we go, we bring rain,” Red Sox slugger David Ortiz told reporters Sunday in Anaheim. “Every series we go, there’s some rain going on. So I’m not surprised about this.”

The Red Sox and Angels tried to wait things out, as there was a delay of roughly 2 1/2 hours before the plug finally was pulled. It was clear long before that, however, there’d be no baseball. The outfield was full of puddles — the drainage at Angel Stadium didn’t seem all that great — and rain kept falling.

Eduardo Rodriguez and Hector Santiago — Sunday’s scheduled starters — will pitch Game 1 on Monday. Steven Wright and Andrew Heaney will square off in Game 2.

Let’s run down some additional notes.

— The rainout doesn’t affect the Red Sox’s travel plans. They’ll still stay the night in California after Monday’s doubleheader before traveling to Houston on Tuesday morning for the start of a three-game series Tuesday night against the Astros.

The Red Sox’s upcoming schedule sure is hectic. Traveling on the day of a game, like the Red Sox will do Tuesday, is unconventional. It’s even more unique on the heels of a doubleheader the day before.

“We were screwed anyway,” Ortiz told reporters. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out (Tuesday), but we’ll see. It is what it is.”

— Sunday’s rainout throws a wrench into the Red Sox’s rotation plans. They don’t have an off-day until Aug. 3, so Boston will need someone to step in and start Friday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.

Rodriguez would have been scheduled to start Friday, but he’s pitching Monday afternoon. There’s no way the Red Sox will roll him out there Friday on three days’ rest.

Justin Masterson could be a candidate for a spot start, unless the Red Sox want to avoid flip-flopping him between the rotation and the bullpen, in which case Joe Kelly could earn a call-up from Pawtucket.

— One can’t help but wonder how the Red Sox will approach Rodriguez’s workload down the stretch, particularly if they’re in contention. He’s been their best pitcher at times, but he’s still a 22-year-old rookie who figures to be a long-term fixture in the rotation. Boston needs to be smart.

Rodriguez totaled a career-high 145 innings in the minors in 2013. The left-hander entered Monday having thrown 101 innings between the majors and Triple-A this season.

“We haven’t set a number to it, but if you use that 25-30 percent (increase), you’re in that 180 (innings) range. … If we get to that point, we’ll see,” Farrell said Sunday. “The one thing about Eddie’s case is, he’s been very efficient. His side days are minimal with the number of pitches thrown in the bullpen setting, but we haven’t entertained a hard cap.”

— Clay Buchholz, currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow, played catch Saturday. It’s a small step, but it’s one in the right direction.

— Wright’s start against the Angels marks a homecoming for the California native.

The knuckleballer, who grew up about 45 minutes from Angel Stadium, is expecting 100 or so family members and friends for Monday’s start. He never has pitched in a major league game at Angel Stadium, though he pitched in a high school tournament at the park over a decade ago.

“It’s going to be crazy,” Wright told reporters Sunday. “I come from a small town, and there’s only a handful of us that have ever played professional baseball, let alone big league. It’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.”

Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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