Steven Wright Replaced by Heath Hembree on Red Sox ALDS Roster After Knee Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2018

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright delivers to the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park ,Friday, June 22, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Boston Red Sox reliever Steven Wright was removed from the team's American League Division Series roster after being diagnosed with inflammation and a loose body in his left knee, the team announced Saturday.

Fellow right-handed reliever Heath Hembree took Wright's place on the roster.    

Per Major League Baseball rules, Wright will not be eligible to pitch in the American League Championship Series should Boston advance. He would, however, be permitted to be added back to the roster for the World Series.

Wright did not pitch in Boston's 5-4 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday. After Chris Sale held the Yankees to two runs on five hits and two walks in 5.1 innings, the Red Sox used five more pitchers—including potential Game 3 starter Rick Porcello—to close out the win.

The Boston bullpen was shaky, meaning manager Alex Cora may need as many healthy arms as possible to try to piece together wins. After Wright underwent an MRI on Friday, the Red Sox decided to make a move.

He made 20 appearances, including four starts, during the regular season. The knuckleballer posted a 3-1 record with a 2.68 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, notching three holds and one save as well.

He was limited to just five games last year after undergoing knee surgery in May 2017. That came just one year after he was selected to his first American League All-Star team.

Hembree made 67 appearances during the regular season, going 4-1 with 20 holds. He also recorded a 4.20 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while striking out 76 hitters in 60 innings. The 29-year-old reliever had a 5.03 ERA in 26 second-half outings, allowing five home runs in 19.2 innings.

Hembree has never made a postseason appearance in his six-year career.

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