With the Boston Red Sox set to add Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen as their traditional closer once he returns from the injured list, many began to question who Boston’s fifth starter would be.
Brian Johnson usually would be an option, but he’s currently on the 10-day IL with a non-baseball medical matter. He is expected to return this season. Hector Velazquez has struggled as a starter and has proven to be a better relief pitcher, which essentially leaves Steven Wright to take over the fifth starter’s position.
Wright was activated from his 80-game suspension on June 25 and has appeared in three games in relief for Boston. The Knuckleballer has a 4.50 ERA with four strikeouts in as many innings pitched. And although Wright’s numbers are better as a reliever than a starter, he’s ready to take on any role for his team.
“Whatever Alex (Cora) asks me to do, I’m going to do,” Wright said, per MassLive.com. “So for me, if they want me to do that, I’ll do it. If they want me to relieve, I’ll do that.”
He’s also all for teams using an “opener” pitcher.
“I think (the Tampa Bay Rays) did a great job last year,” Wright. “I think it caught baseball by storm because it’s never really been done. You’ve got spot starters like where they have a bullpen day. But to have an opener where you have a starter come in after a reliever, I never heard of it but it worked.”
There will be plenty to keep your eyes locked on once Eovaldi returns to the team between how he does as a closer and how the fifth day will go starting-wise for Boston.
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