The Boston Red Sox suffered a tough blow Wednesday, losing relief pitcher Steven Wright to a PED suspension.
Wright, a 34-year-old knuckleballer, was slapped with an 80-game ban for testing positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2. When he eventually comes back, he’ll be ineligible to make the postseason roster.
At the team’s spring training facility in Ft. Myers, Fla., on Wednesday, Wright provided reporters with an update.
?It was from an offseason test, I don?t know the exact date,? Wright said, via The Boston Herald. ?I did do an appeal. Through the process I realized the burden is completely on me … Somewhere it got into my system. It?s unfortunate. It was such low levels it literally could?ve been from anything. We couldn?t narrow it down from what it was. It falls on me to try to prove that and unfortunately I could not do it.?
It’s been a bumpy couple of seasons for Wright. He underwent knee surgery right after the 2017 campaign concluded, and it took him a bit of time to get back into action the ensuing season. He made the postseason roster, but after not appearing in Game 1 of the American League Division Series he was bumped off the roster the rest of the playoffs because of inflammation in his knee.
Wright also was handed a 15-game suspension prior to the 2018 season for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy after an incident with his wife.
The knuckleballer had another procedure on his knee earlier this offseason, and he indicated that he planned to use the time during his suspension to continue getting healthier.
?No, honestly, I did all the treatment with the PTs and all that, and nothing has changed,? Wright said when asked if he introduced any new substances to his body this offseason, via The Herald. ?That?s what?s frustrating about it. I worked my butt off this offseason since getting the surgery. I feel like I?m in a good spot, and from an offseason drug test this comes up. I?ve been dealing with it.
?At the end of the day, it falls on me. Regardless, even if I could figure out how it got into my system, it still falls on me to prove that it was unintentional and unfortunately I can?t. I don?t know where it came from. But I respect the program. I think it?s a great thing for the game. I?m just going to serve the suspension and utilize the time off to try to get healthier.?
With the Red Sox’s rotation already set for 2019, Wright was going to be one of the team’s bullpen arms, and given the different look he provides batters, he was supposed to be a pretty important one.
Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the Red Sox.