The team has not confirmed the report. Wright has been dealing with knee discomfort since spring training, when he was fitted for a knee brace. Manager John Farrell told The Boston Globe that Wright’s discomfort worsened over the weekend.
“After his work day on Sunday, which was the day he most recently started, he felt like there was a spike in the discomfort,” Farrell said. “He was obviously taken for an MRI at that point, and it’s more severe than what he’d been dealing with at any point in time. So we’re still gathering.”
However, Farrell said there wasn’t one specific event that worsened the injury.
“But to say that there was one particular instance that really ramped it up or took it to another level, even Steven to this point can’t say that this was the reason for it — covering first base or fielding a ground ball. It was none of that that signified that this was another re-injury or a major advancement of it.”
Wright has a disastrous 8.25 ERA in five starts this season, but it’s unclear if the knee discomfort has impacted his performance on the mound. As a knuckleballer, opponents have hit .385 with eight homers against the pitch this season. Farrell was unsure if Wright has been holding back on his knuckleball due to the injury.
If reports of surgery are true, David Price‘s return to the rotation will be crucial for the team to get on a hot streak. In the meantime, Boston called up veteran righty Kyle Kendrick to take Wright’s place in the rotation.
Kendrick has a 6.00 ERA in Triple-A thus far, but that’s largely due to him giving up nine earned runs in his first start of the season and six in his second. In his past two outings, he’s allowed only three runs on seven hits in 14 innings of work. In spring training, Kendrick posted a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings.
If Kendrick struggles in his first start in Boston, it’s likely the team will call upon Brian Johnson to replace Wright in the rotation until Price can return. In his lone start of the season on April 18, Johnson went five innings while allowing four runs on seven hits. He did show flashes that he could be consistent in the majors, though. In four starts in Triple-A, Johnson owns a 2.28 ERA.