BOSTON — The last thing the Red Sox needed was an injury to one of their best starters, but that’s where they’ve found themselves for the time being.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Wednesday before Boston’s game against the New York Yankees that Steven Wright would be scratched from his start Thursday with shoulder inflammation he suffered Sunday while pinch-running against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Eduardo Rodriguez will start in Wright’s place for the Yankees series finale, and Clay Buchholz will rejoin the rotation Saturday.
Wright underwent an MRI, which showed no structural damage, so he won’t hit the disabled list for now.
“Honestly, the way he swung the bat the night before,” Farrell said of his decision to put Wright in the game against the Dodgers. “It was more of an indication to me of here?s a guy that?s a baseball player. Rick Porcello had flown back early, was not available to us. And looking at a starter that?s not going to be used inside that game, he was the guy.
“And kind of a lengthy lead forced them to fake a pickoff attempt, and he dove back in and jammed his shoulder. There?s an unfortunate situation here because of the time missed right now, but encouraging that the MRI didn?t show anything further. And like I said, an opportunity for Clay to step back in, and we?d said all along Clay?s depth would be tested. And we?re at that point right now.”
The Red Sox were trying to be cautious with David Ortiz, who was playing first base in the interleague matchup that Sunday, and there weren’t many options behind Wright as far as baserunners go. Sandy Leon, who’s not known for his speed, and Hanley Ramirez, who presumably was being saved to pinch-hit, were the only other position players available.
Wright said that while his shoulder still hurts, it’s not affecting his mechanics. Overall, he didn’t seem too worried about the injury.
“Said my labrum?s good, my rotator cuff?s good,” Wright said. “They said I just kind of jammed it really bad. It?s a freak accident. It?s one of those things that you never think about that when you?re just trying to get back — I was just trying to get back to the bag and not get picked off, and it?s just a freak thing.”
Wright’s next scheduled start would be Aug. 20 against the Detroit Tigers — unless the Red Sox make more changes — so he’ll have plenty of time to rest between now and then.
“It definitely still hurts, but it takes a — I?ve got better motion to get to the pain, so it?s definitely getting improved with anti-inflammatories,” Wright said. “I haven?t really done much treatment because they want to try to let everything calm down, so I?ll know more probably in the next coming days what the situation is.”
Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images