The Red Sox were hoping that Michael Wacha would be able to start against the Yankees on Friday after he was scratched on July 4 due to a “heavy arm.” That will not happen, as the veteran right-hander is still dealing with arm issues.
“He hasn’t been able to bounce back from bullpens or playing catch,” manager Alex Cora said of Wacha on Thursday. “Nothing structural. We actually tested him. He had an MRI and all that, and everything looks clean. Right now, just hasn’t been able to bounce back.”
Wacha made his 13th start of the season for Boston in Toronto on June 28, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and two strikeouts over five innings. Last Sunday, the 31-year-old first began complaining about “a heavy, tired feeling” in his throwing arm. As previously mentioned, he was slated to make his 14th start on Independence Day but was instead scratched in favor of Austin Davis.
While Wacha continues to be plagued by arm fatigue, the Red Sox remain optimistic that he will not require a trip to the injured list. Wacha has proven to be one of Boston’s best starters this season, posting a 2.69 ERA and 3.96 FIP with 50 strikeouts to 22 walks across 70 1/3 innings of work.
With that being said, however, the Sox still need a starter to go up against Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. on Friday night. Connor Seabold, who last pitched in Chicago on July 3, would be in line to start on regular rest.
But the Red Sox optioned Seabold to Triple-A Worcester on Monday, meaning the only way they could call him back up on Friday would be if they placed another player on the injured list.
So, it seems likely that Boston will place Wacha on the 15-day injured list and recall Seabold from Worcester to start on Friday. If not, they could lean in the direction of a bullpen game.
(Picture of Michael Wacha: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)