Steven Wright
Steven Wright
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
Boston Red Sox
Injury Suspension
Est. Return 6/24/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Recurring knee issues and a 15-game suspension for domestic violence limited Wright to just four starts and 16 relief appearances in 2018. The 34-year-old underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in November but is expected to be ready by the start of the season, though that was the story for much of last offseason as well and he wound up not debuting until mid-May. When available, Wright was effective, finishing with a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings. Both his 18.8% strikeout rate and 11.7% walk rate were fairly poor, leading to a mediocre 4.37 FIP, but the knuckleballer has routinely outperformed the estimators. If Wright ends up in a rotation spot this season, he'll have a great opportunity for wins to offset his middling strikeouts and ERA. He could also provide a heavy workload out of the bullpen. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $1.38 million contract with the Red Sox in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Suspended 80 games
PBoston Red Sox
March 6, 2019
Wright was suspended 80 games Wednesday after testing positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2, Mark Feinsand of reports.
The suspension will keep the knuckleballer out until mid-June and will make him ineligible to participate in the postseason. The veteran was theoretically in the mix for saves in Boston with the closer job wide open, though he was far from the favorite, so his absence won't move the needle much for frontrunners Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .292 111 17 11 28 5 0 3
Since 2017vs Right .259 226 38 20 53 13 1 11
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .259 69 10 9 15 2 0 0
2018vs Right .190 154 32 17 26 7 0 5
2017vs Left .342 42 7 2 13 3 0 3
2017vs Right .397 72 6 3 27 6 1 6
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
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ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 5.93 1.55 44.0 3 2 1 6.8 3.7 2.3
Since 2017Away 2.41 1.31 33.2 1 2 0 5.9 3.5 0.8
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 4.45 1.38 30.1 2 0 1 7.1 4.7 1.5
2018Away 0.39 1.07 23.1 1 1 0 6.9 3.9 0.0
2017Home 9.22 1.90 13.2 1 2 0 5.9 1.3 4.0
2017Away 6.97 1.84 10.1 0 1 0 3.5 2.6 2.6
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
A shoulder injury slowed Wright's progression through spring training in 2017, and he made just five starts for the Red Sox before a knee injury in May led to season-ending surgery. Of the starts he made, only one qualified as a quality start, and he was extremely prone to the long ball, allowing nine homers in 24 innings before the injury. Wright turned 33 in August, and in December, he was arrested on domestic assault charges. It's unclear if MLB will hand down a suspension for the incident. Regardless of any disciplinary action that may impact his availability to begin the season, Wright will need to prove that he's healthy and regain the form he showed in 2016 when he took the ball for 24 starts and racked up an impressive 3.33 ERA for the Red Sox, but he has a path to serve as a temporary rotation member again since Eduardo Rodriguez will begin the season on the DL and the health of David Price is in question after he logged just 74.2 innings last season.
Wright enjoyed a breakout year in his second full season with the Red Sox, registering a 3.33 ERA and 3.77 FIP in 156.2 innings and 24 starts. The 32-year-old knuckleballer was consistently able to keep hitters off-balance and avoided giving up a lot of home runs, which was reflected in his solid 0.7 HR/9. While Wright was able to rack up 13 wins for the Red Sox, his strikeout numbers were unspectacular, posting just a 7.3 K/9. Additionally, Wright's 13 wins would have been more had a shoulder injury not forced him to miss all of September. Considering that he relies more on pitch movement, specifically on his knuckleball, than velocity, there is little reason to believe Wright should experience a sharp decline next season as he gets deeper into his 30s. He is likely the Red Sox's sixth starter to begin 2017 following the blockbuster trade to acquire Chris Sale in December.
Poor Steven Wright. He’ll do anything asked of him and has been relatively effective at whatever role is given him, but Wright’s never considered when the Red Sox are thinking long-term about their starting rotation. The knuckle-baller started nine games last season and was used as a reliever in another seven. In his nine starts, Wright had a 3.96 ERA and gave up three of fewer earned runs in eight of them. If you watched Boston’s starting staff closely last season, you can make a case that Wright was the most consistent. Wright’s main role with the Red Sox since being acquired in late 2012 has been as a depth starter, having started games in each of the last three seasons. With Eduardo Rodriguez set to miss a few weeks with a knee injury, Wright appears to be the favorite to break camp as the fifth starter, but it shouldn't take long for him to head to the bullpen, serving as a long reliever / spot starter. He averaged nearly three innings in his seven relief outings last season.
Wright is a 30-year-old knuckleballer who made his mark as a September callup when the Red Sox were auditioning arms for their 2015 Opening Day roster. The results at Triple-A were significantly improved last season, as he showed much better control (72:23 K:BB in 100 innings with Pawtucket) while making 16 starts. His limited sample with Boston was also productive, as he carried a 22:4 K:BB and showed an increased ability to get outs on the ground, although his career rate (1.30 GO/AO) is more indicative of his baseline. If nothing else, Wright is a great story, and he should be considered a long shot for a place in the back of the Red Sox's rotation. Most likely, he'll serve as organizational depth at Pawtucket with an opportunity to contribute if injuries strike the team's rebuilt corps of starters at the big league level.
Wright, a conventional pitcher turned knuckleballer, produced adequate results for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013. He also made four appearances at the major league level, but was burdened by control problems. Prior to the season, Red Sox manager John Farrell was a big supporter of Wright coming off the right-hander's 2012 season, his first full year throwing the knuckler. Whether or not Farrell remains such an ardent supporter, Wright is likely to remain in the starting rotation at Pawtucket. He could be called on for an emergency start in 2014, but Boston will have at least two other starters (Allen Webster, Brandon Workman) at Pawtucket ahead of him.
More Fantasy News
Set to throw Sunday
PBoston Red Sox
March 2, 2019
Wright will play long toss up to 90 feet Sunday, Christopher Smith of reports.
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No longer considered starter
PBoston Red Sox
February 15, 2019
Wright is viewed strictly as a reliever this season, Chris Cotillo of reports.
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Set to wear knee brace
PBoston Red Sox
February 12, 2019
Wright will wear a knee brace in 2019, Christopher Smith of reports.
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Could see saves in 2019
PBoston Red Sox
January 17, 2019
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wright is an option at closer in 2019, Chris Cotillo of reports.
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Avoids arbitration
PBoston Red Sox
January 10, 2019
Wright signed a one-year, $1.375 million contract with the Red Sox on Thursday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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