On Monday, we learned that Steven Wright was hitting the disabled list with a knee sprain after wearing a brace on the knee since spring training. Now, we’ve learned that it’s worse than we originally thought. The knuckleballer will need surgery, and it will put him out for the year. The news just became official today, but was first reported by Jared Carrabis on Tuesday.
Hearing that Steven Wright will need knee surgery as early as next week. Could put him out for six months.— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 2, 2017
There was a bit of a hint this was coming when Kyle Kendrick was announced his replacement in the rotation, since he always made sense a longer-term fix rather than someone to make a spot start or two.
Obviously, Wright hasn’t been great for the Red Sox this year, but this still hurts. Given their respective track records, I’d rather keep throwing Wright out there than rely on Kendrick, especially after the former looked solid for most of his last outing. The silver lining for the Red Sox is that David Price continues to progress slowly but surely, so they will hopefully have an established starter back in their rotation at some point in the next month or so.
On the other side of things, this is a big deal for Wright. We tend to look at injuries from the team’s perspective — which, duh, our entire perspective on the sport is through the lens of the Red Sox — but for someone like Wright this couldn’t come at a worse time. The knuckleballer is set to hit arbitration for the first time this year, giving him his first chance at legitimate major-league money. After his performance last year, anything short of a disastrous 2017 would have resulted in a significant pay raise. Now, it’s more likely that he’ll be non-tendered and will have to sign a cheap prove-it deal next year around the minimum. This really sucks for the guy.