The Red Sox have announced that righty Steven Wright will undergo season-ending left knee surgery. The precise surgery is a cartilage restoration procedure. Wright is expected to be ready for the 2018 campaign.
The 32-year-old Wright was a revelation for the Sox last season, breaking out with a 3.33 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 43.7 percent ground-ball rate in 156 2/3 innings. The knuckleballer began wearing a knee brace late in Spring Training, telling reporters at the time that he’d been dealing with on-and-off soreness but considered the brace precautionary. At the time, Wright said that he didn’t believe any singular issue had led to the knee pain. Clearly, however, that discomfort continued to mount, and it’ll now end up costing him roughly an entire year’s worth of innings.
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With Wright sidelined for the remainder of the season and David Price still yet to make his 2017 debut, Boston’s rotation will consist of Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez and Kyle Kendrick for the time being. Southpaws Brian Johnson and Henry Owens remain on the 40-man roster as depth options in Triple-A, and fellow lefty Roenis Elias will give the Sox another optionable starter once he returns from an intercostal strain.
Wright, at some point, will be shifted to the 60-day disabled list to clear a 40-man roster spot for the Sox, and he’ll accrue an entire year of service time while on the shelf. That’ll push him beyond the three-year mark, thereby making him eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career next offseason. Boston can still control Wright through the 2020 season via the arbitration process.