The Boston Red Sox rotation needs a boost and two names may be key players – Brian Johnson and suspended Steven Wright.
The Red Sox season is far from lost as they have proved with a nice visit to the Tampa area and taking three from the Rays. Every team has problems and the idea is to simply cover them up, solve them, or wait for unlikely cosmic intervention.
The Red Sox rotation has certainly not performed as expected and has self-destructed the season’s beginnings. Obviously, the offense is not exactly hiding behind a curtain of innocence in what is becoming a nice hole to extricate themselves from.
Two names certainly surface in the pitching department that may offer a slight respite for rotation miseries – Lefty Brian Johnson and the suspended Steven Wright. Johnson is the offering that just may be on the immediate horizon to offer assistance with Wright the more long-term possibility. What could happen?
Johnson remains in the baseball land of one step forward followed shortly by one step backward. The former first round draft pick finally made a substantial contribution in 2018 as a spot starter (13 starts) and out of the bullpen. This season Johnson was being called upon with regularity until his elbow decided to take a hiatus.
Johnson may soon return to his duties, but it may be rather limited based on his quirky left elbow. With the who knows what will happen with Nathan Eovaldi the path is clear for a fifth starter and that would have been Johnson. Now that very elbow could be wired into pitch count formula land and Johnson eventually teams up with Hector Velazquez and Marcus Walden for the three innings club to cobbled together a start.
Wright has manufactured an incredible ability to self immolate his career with two suspensions directly attributed to personal behavior. Wright is not alone in the personal escapade towards self-destruction as a good chunk of his career was left on the field with an ill-advised expedition on the base paths as a pinch runner, but Wright just may surface as a possible season savior.
The assumption being that the 80 game suspension for testing the veracity of MLB’s drug policy for banned pharmaceuticals will allow a period of needed physical recovery. Wright has a knee condition that has tested surgical skills and now Wright’s rehabilitative dedication. That is certainly a debatable point based on his questionable choices, but think positive.
A healthy Wright could easily be available for duty at the 90 game juncture and based on what is transpiring Wright may represent a lifeline. Wright has proved himself as a starter and bullpen arm and could serve duty in either role.
What should be of concern is the need for Wright. A month ago I viewed Wright as quite expendable, but now it seems he could be a valuable arm. The Red Sox do not appear to be willing to shovel money or what limited minor league talent they have to acquire a dependable starter. The best case is the Red Sox start their climb out of that not-insurmountable hole.