Red Sox Reinstate Steven Wright, Option Josh Smith to Triple-A Pawtucket, and Transfer Nathan Eovaldi to 60-Day Injured List

Before taking on the Chicago White Sox in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday, the Red Sox reinstated right-hander Steven Wright from the restricted list. In order to make room for Wright on Boston’s 40-man roster, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was transferred to the 60-day injured list. And in order to make room for Wright on the 25-man roster, right-hander Josh Smith was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the transactions official earlier Tuesday.

Suspended the first 80 games of the 2019 season back in March after testing positive for human growth hormone, Wright would be ineligible for the postseason.

The knuckleballer was sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on June 9th, where he allowed two earned runs on six hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over five appearances (one start) and 9 2/3 total innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 1.86 and batting average against of .176.

Although he would not be able to pitch in October, the addition of Wright should still provide a boost to a Red Sox bullpen that appears to need one at the moment.

In 16 outings as a reliever last season before being shelved with inflammation in his left knee, Wright posted a 1.52 ERA and .618 OPS against over 25 2/3 frames of work.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora has already come out and said Wright will be strictly used as a reliever, which makes sense given the knee issues he had last year.

On October 6th, the 34-year-old was placed on the injured list because of that left knee, and that kept him out of Boston’s World Series run. A month later, Wright underwent successful left knee surgery in New York, where he received an arthroscopy and debridement on the joint.

Now, coming off his second suspension in as many seasons, Wright will look to give his team a different kind of look out of the bullpen.

Smith, meanwhile, appeared in two contests against the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend in his fourth stint with Boston, allowing one run over four innings of relief.

On the 2019 season as a whole, the 31-year-old hurler owns a 5.40 ERA and .289 batting average against through 10 outings, two of which have been starts. He also picked up his first big league save on June 13th in a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers.

As for Eovaldi, the move to the 60-day injured list has no effect on when he will be back, since the 29-year-old has already missed more than 60 days after being shelved back in April and undergoing successful surgery on his right elbow that same week.

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#RedSox Halt Dustin Pedroia’s Rehab Assignment Due to Minor Left Knee Soreness

Nearly two weeks after sending him out on one for the second time this season, the Red Sox have returned second baseman Dustin Pedroia from his rehab assignment with Double-A Portland due to what the club is describing as “minor left knee soreness”, per multiple reports.

Pedroia, 35, was scratched from the Sea Dogs’ lineup against the Trenton Thunder this past Saturday for essentially the same reason.

Placed on the 10-day injured list back on April 19th after appearing in six games for the Red Sox, the veteran infielder was sent out to Portland on May 2nd, where he went 4-for-16 with one run and one RBI over a six-game span.

According to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, the plan now is for Pedroia to go back out on another assignment following this delay. This works out for the team, because as Abraham notes, 12 of the 20 days available for a rehab assignment had already been used up, so this now gives Pedroia and the Red Sox more time to prepare.

In Pedroia’s place, the Red Sox currently have rookie Michael Chavis and Eduardo Nunez available to man second base when necessary, while Brock Holt and Tzu-Wei Lin, like Pedroia, remain on Boston’s injured list.

The timetable for the California native’s return to the majors is not yet known, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t contribute to the big league club when healthy.

All on Twitter, I see people indirectly urging Pedroia to retire due to these extended knee issues, hoping the remainder of his six-year, $85 million contract could somehow be voided if he did indeed hang them up.

I don’t know where things took a sour turn, I really don’t. But Dustin Pedroia deserved more respect than that. Literally the best second baseman not named Bobby Doerr to ever don a Red Sox uniform.

The bottom line is: show that man some respect.