Steven Wright Making Case For Bullpen Spot in ’15

steven wright

Photo Credit: Ken Jancef Photography

Sunday marked Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright’s second appearance of the season, but it is not the sample size that matters — it is what he does. Pitching in long relief for the third time this season, Wright single-handedly saved the bullpen once again; tossing three beautiful innings allowing no runs on three hits while walking no one and punching out a pair. His ERA now stands at 0.75 on the year in the Bigs over 12 innings.
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Once again, it is not the sample size that matters — but instead it is more important what Wright does. Throwing three types of knuckleballs — hard, regular, and soft. Using a combination of those three pitches, he gets plenty of whiffs. Wright is seeing plenty of success and can go a number of innings on a relatively short notice. Knuckleballers are known for the immense stamina and Wright is no exception.

Last year in the big leagues, Wright was not too shabby either earning two wins due to impressive long relief outings. Not all of his outings were sharp, but pitching in the wind rain for a knuckleballer is tough and so is having Ryan Lavarnway behind the backstop.
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Right now as it is projected, there appears to be a serious lack in stamina in the 2015 Boston Red Sox bullpen. Sure, there are some guys like Brandon Workman and Alex Wilson who can give the occasional two innings, but what happens when a starter blows up? What happens when Clay Buchholz surrenders seven runs and does not make it out of the second inning alive? Well then, the bullpen would be exhausted of it’s resources. With Wright in the bullpen, that would not occur.

In his second outing of the year, when Wright faced R.A. Dickey on the mound, it was the first time two knuckleballers faced each other since Tim Wakefield faced Dickey.