Steven Wright- ace up the sleeve... Amiright?!?!?

Chainsaw318

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2006
1,554
Burned . . . Blacklisted
I didn't know that. Maybe you are good for something more than mobile games.

The discussion on the pod was somewhat interesting, but I would love a more in depth comparison of, say, Wright and Dickey's 'stuff' as knuckleballers.

Really from a scouting or a physics perspective.
 

The Best Catch in 100 Years

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
791
Kyrgyzstan
I'd certainly agree if he was anything but a knuckleballer. Tim Wakefield's BABIP was 'unsustainable' his whole career, and his performance poorly tracked his peripherals - there are a lot of assumptions that go into what is 'normal' with pitching, and some of those assumptions may not hold true with a fundamentally different pitching style.
Yeah, for these reasons Wright needs to be firmly in the AL Cy Young conversation at this point, if not the frontrunner.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
63,527
Oregon
Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer
It doesn't sound like Steven Wright is going to start the All-Star Game, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, who nevertheless has informed AL manager Ned Yost that Wright will be available to throw two innings Tuesday night in San Diego.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
63,527
Oregon
"Ace up the sleeve" seems appropriate, as John Farrell suggests that as a solution to Wright's perplexing perspiration predicament:

Farrell said, "If we’re in a situation where there is a little bit of moisture or the temperature is 90 degrees, it almost leaves us at a point where I have to scratch him if it ends up being a situation where the results are what they are, but we have to figure out a way to maintain some kind of grip whether it’s wearing sleeves, using rosin. He’s done a very good job for us, no questions about that. But, in those elements we have to find a way to adjust and make the most of them."
This butting of heads with the elements become a reality that Farrell and Wright have learned the hard way. The knucklballer has taken measures already, applying an over-the-counter concoction of glycerin and rosewater to his hands before each start.
But the problem, according to Wright, stems form sweaty forearms, with the moisture dripping down to hands. Hence the sleeves suggestions from Farrell. But as for rosin, the righty explained that the substance is counterproductive because it results in the same kind of sticky effect he battled in Texas.
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/rob-bradford/2016/07/28/some-things-you-might-want-know-about-these-r
 

Lowrielicious

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 19, 2011
3,909
Give him some fucking wrist bands. Jesus, is that difficult? You're going to scratch him because his forearms get sweaty and you can't figure out how to solve it?
Pretty sure hitters (and therefore umpires) are going to have an issue with a wristband on the throwing arm.
 

twibnotes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
18,184
Give him some fucking wrist bands. Jesus, is that difficult? You're going to scratch him because his forearms get sweaty and you can't figure out how to solve it?

Would love to hear Tim Wakefield's thoughts on this.

I would have thought liberal use of the the rosin bag could solve the problem.
 
Last edited:

Curt S Loew

SoSH Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
4,860
Shantytown
Would love to hear Tim Wakefield's thoughts on this.

I would have thought liberal use of the the rosin bag could solve the problem.
As he states in the quote in the above post, rosin is counterproductive. I would think so, being a knuckleballer. They need a smooth ball and grip. It may be okay in cooler temps, but certainly not in the heat and humidity.
 

Lowrielicious

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 19, 2011
3,909
As he states in the quote in the above post, rosin is counterproductive. I would think so, being a knuckleballer. They need a smooth ball and grip. It may be okay in cooler temps, but certainly not in the heat and humidity.
Like night games. In October.
 

In my lifetime

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2003
937
Connecticut
Okay, the rare sports issue that is in my wheelhouse as a dermatologist. I have no idea why Wright would use a home made concoction when there are actually proven methods to decrease sweating.

Understanding that it is the forearms, which is not a typical place to treat (palms are often a target of treatment ). A high strength aluminum chloride solution would be the first thing to try and would very possibly be the best solution -- few side effects and pretty effective. Put on forearms and palms before bed the 2 nights before each start and if needed adjust timing.

There are other treatments as well, but some like botox have been successful for palms, but never tried on forearms. And it may mess up his feel for the ball, so I would think that is a poor choice. Electrophoresis doesn't work very well.

So aluminum chloride and a forearm sweat band on the non-throwing forearm (if allowed) would be the first and probably best approach.
 

phenweigh

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 8, 2005
1,293
Brewster, MA
My first thought was that long sleeves seems like an obvious solution. Then I thought about Sales' uniform "objection", and it occurred to me that Wright may not be "comfortable" pitching in long sleeves.

If Wright was a reliever, Farrell could simply avoid calling on him during sweaty conditions. But he's too valuable as a starter.

Maybe when weather forecasts indicate sweaty conditions for a Wright start, Farrell should have a quick hook and have Clay ready to come in early. I know Buchholz is unpopular around these parts lately, but that has to be better than letting Wright pitch until he allows 8 runs.
 

phenweigh

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 8, 2005
1,293
Brewster, MA
I'm not sure when/where the photo was taken, but it looks like the guy in the background is wearing a sweatshirt, so it was cool that day. Maybe Wright is OK with long sleeves when it's cool, and wearing a long sleeve undershirt when it's hot makes him sweat more and he feels is counterproductive? Farrell was quoted up-thread "... we have to figure out a way to maintain some kind of grip whether it’s wearing sleeves ... " So, something is going on regarding sleeves.
 

GreenMonster49

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
363

Doctor G

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 24, 2007
2,323
Given the innings questions, it looks like he might be hitting the wall after 4or 5 innings.He is not comparable to Wakefield in pitching style. He probably averages 77 mph on all throws. Time to slot him in the bullpen .
 

effectivelywild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
266
Given the innings questions, it looks like he might be hitting the wall after 4or 5 innings.He is not comparable to Wakefield in pitching style. He probably averages 77 mph on all throws. Time to slot him in the bullpen .
Man, I don't know if its time to even really discuss moving him to the BP. I mean, yeah, he's been getting roughed up out there, particularly in the later innings but I always thought that a. Knuckleballers historically go through stretches where they lose the feel for the ultimate "feel" pitch and b. We have at least a quasi-explanation as to what's going on (sweat, poor grip). I mean, if Wright said "Yeah, I have a hard time maintaining my arm action late in the game" I'd get it, but...I think this is an over-reaction
 

Doctor G

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 24, 2007
2,323
He might be a reasonable facsimile of Koji in the pen. Instead of fastball splitter you Have knuckler fast ball.
 

phenweigh

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 8, 2005
1,293
Brewster, MA
Stephen Wright has pitched 3 complete games, one game behind MLB leading Cueto, and tied with Kershaw, Bumgarner, Sale and Kluber.

For the record, I'd think Wright would be quite good out of the pen, but he's much more valuable as a starter.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
42,578
Okay, the rare sports issue that is in my wheelhouse as a dermatologist. I have no idea why Wright would use a home made concoction when there are actually proven methods to decrease sweating.

Understanding that it is the forearms, which is not a typical place to treat (palms are often a target of treatment ). A high strength aluminum chloride solution would be the first thing to try and would very possibly be the best solution -- few side effects and pretty effective. Put on forearms and palms before bed the 2 nights before each start and if needed adjust timing.

There are other treatments as well, but some like botox have been successful for palms, but never tried on forearms. And it may mess up his feel for the ball, so I would think that is a poor choice. Electrophoresis doesn't work very well.

So aluminum chloride and a forearm sweat band on the non-throwing forearm (if allowed) would be the first and probably best approach.
That was my thought. If I have interviews or meetings on a hot day, I'll rub some Mitchums on my hand to make sure they're dry throughout.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
11,618
Maine
Given the innings questions, it looks like he might be hitting the wall after 4or 5 innings.He is not comparable to Wakefield in pitching style. He probably averages 77 mph on all throws. Time to slot him in the bullpen .
Just out of curiosity, who slots into his rotation spot if Wright's at some sort of innings ceiling and needs to be semi-shut down? And just saying "trade for someone" doesn't count as an answer. Gotta name a specific pitcher and how they go about acquiring him if he's not in the organization at present.

I think the more prudent action at this point is to see about solving the moisture/grip issues he's apparently had the last couple times out and see where that gets him before getting too worried about innings count. He's been in the 120-140 IP range the last few years...he should be good to scale up by 25-30% at least.
 

Byrdbrain

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
8,588
Wait is someone saying that Stephen Wright could be on an innings limit and should go to the bullpen?
Neither of those things will be happening.
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,398
ct
The great Doctor G made that very suggestion. Since he is a physician, guess we should follow his advice. My 10 buck deductible is in the mail.
 

Doctor G

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 24, 2007
2,323
Just out of curiosity, who slots into his rotation spot if Wright's at some sort of innings ceiling and needs to be semi-shut down? And just saying "trade for someone" doesn't count as an answer. Gotta name a specific pitcher and how they go about acquiring him if he's not in the organization at present.

I think the more prudent action at this point is to see about solving the moisture/grip issues he's apparently had the last couple times out and see where that gets him before getting too worried about innings count. He's been in the 120-140 IP range the last few years...he should be good to scale up by 25-30% at least.
I would trade for Ervin Santana.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
18,733
Wait is someone saying that Stephen Wright could be on an innings limit and should go to the bullpen?
Neither of those things will be happening.
Yeah the mere thought of Wright being on an innings limit or his knuckler being affected by arm fatigue is kinda outrageous. The only times he's been hit all season were in the rain or middle innings when perspiration on a hot night was the issue.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
9,226
Michigan
Looks like Wright misses his next start per Comcast. Hurt his shoulder pinch running.
For all the #firefarrell chatter, if there's one, clear fireable offense, it's using your team's best starter as a pinch runner and letting him get injured. That's a Grady Little-quality dumb move.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
18,035
Portsmouth, NH
I'm about as far from a Farrell apologist as possible but if the dude can't handle running the bases without hurting his shoulder that falls on him, not the manager.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
9,226
Michigan
I'm about as far from a Farrell apologist as possible but if the dude can't handle running the bases without hurting his shoulder that falls on him, not the manager.
By the same logic, if Papi can't run the bases without hurting himself...

It's not about whether Wright can or can't run the bases without injury. It's about exposing your best starting pitcher to unnecessary risk.

We talk all the time about the injury risk of leaving a starting pitcher in a game too long, letting him throw too many pitches, and that's a pitcher's job. Baserunning isn't. How many times has Wright run the bases in the last 10 years? Two? And it's not as if he's the most athletic guy on the team.

The injury risk to a pitcher running the bases is much, much greater than to a position player. Or rather, it takes much less of an injury to sideline a pitcher. If a position player sprains a thumb or strains a hammy they can often still play. That's less true for pitchers. Heck, if Wright breaks a fingernail on his right hand, he's out for a week or two.

It was a spectacularly dumb decision.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
By the same logic, if Papi can't run the bases without hurting himself...

It's not about whether Wright can or can't run the bases without injury. It's about exposing your best starting pitcher to unnecessary risk.

We talk all the time about the injury risk of leaving a starting pitcher in a game too long, letting him throw too many pitches, and that's a pitcher's job. Baserunning isn't. How many times has Wright run the bases in the last 10 years? Two? And it's not as if he's the most athletic guy on the team.

The injury risk to a pitcher running the bases is much, much greater than to a position player. Or rather, it takes much less of an injury to sideline a pitcher. If a position player sprains a thumb or strains a hammy they can often still play. That's less true for pitchers. Heck, if Wright breaks a fingernail on his right hand, he's out for a week or two.

It was a spectacularly dumb decision.
It wasn't an ideal situation, but happens more than you might think under National League rules. I'm no fan of Farrell's but hard to pin this on him and the Ortiz comp is a bit foolish. Can you think of any other options?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
2,564
This is my first post saying anything at all about Farrell: It was a dumb idea to pinch run your best starting pitcher (or any good pitcher).
 

ElcaballitoMVP

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 19, 2008
3,321
Honestly, I would've used Buchholz. Fastest pitcher on the team, I believe, and was only going to be used in mop-up duty. In a 1 run game in the 6th, I'll take my chances I won't need him again (they did use him in the 9th, after Taz served up a couple of bombs, but I would've been fine using Ziegler there, if need-be). And if he gets hurt on the bases? I don't lose one of my best starters.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
9,226
Michigan
It wasn't an ideal situation, but happens more than you might think under National League rules. I'm no fan of Farrell's but hard to pin this on him and the Ortiz comp is a bit foolish. Can you think of any other options?
At first, I thought the Ortiz comp was silly too, but it's not if you consider that both Ortiz and Wright are worth about the same WAR-wise right now. Seems weird, but that's the significance of starting pitching. Aside from morale (which you can't discount) losing Wright to injury for the rest of the season would be as bad as losing Ortiz. Maybe worse, there are guys on the team who could replace 80% of Papi's offensive production. Who we got that can pitch 80% as well as Wright?

Ask yourself this: would you rather Wright be on the 15-day DL and miss three starts or for Papi miss the next three games against the D-Backs and the 12-game road trip? Losing Wright might cost 2 wins. Is Papi (don't get me wrong, I love the guy more than Jesus) worth +3 wins over the next two weeks? Maybe. I'd rather both of them play and have had Clay Buchholz hurt his shoulder.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I get what you're saying but not many options for Farrell that day and I believe Buchholz pitched the previous inning. Ortiz is a higher risk given his achilles issues. He's often not running all out because of that and you need a guy that can score from second if the situation calls for it, without Otiz trying to be that guy and snapping a ligament in the process. NL teams are forced to to it on occasion. That said, Wright's boiler doesn't make him the best choice, but on that particular day.....
 

ElcaballitoMVP

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 19, 2008
3,321
I get what you're saying but not many options for Farrell that day and I believe Buchholz pitched the previous inning. Ortiz is a higher risk given his achilles issues. He's often not running all out because of that and you need a guy that can score from second if the situation calls for it, without Otiz trying to be that guy and snapping a ligament in the process. NL teams are forced to to it on occasion. That said, Wright's boiler doesn't make him the best choice, but on that particular day.....
Buchholz had pitched the day before and had warmed up once or twice already, but he was still in the pen. He came into the game in the 8th after Tazawa gave up a couple of bombs to make it a 3 run game. Barnes and Ross were probably the only ones that weren't available having pitched the night before.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Thanks for the refresher, so either way Buch wasn't going to run. If you're in a situation that calls for a PR for scoring purposes, chances are you're in a close game and probably don't want to use a guy out of the pen.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
13,305
Why wouldn't you use the previous day's starting pitcher as a pinch runner? Eduardo is younger and more athletic than Wright and surely faster. Or if he isn't comfortable or doesn't know what he is doing, then use Pomeranz who was an NL pitcher until recently and ran the bases there.
In addition to being older/slower/less experienced than Rodriguez or Pomeranz, If the game went 16 innings Wright might have been an option to pitch, those others wouldn't.

They should have brought in a pitcher as a pinch runner as soon as Ortiz got on base, but no one came in until he got to second. Lucky he didn't get hurt too.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
13,305
Sure if it's still bothering him or they think it still might be an issue, then don't use him. But then why Wright instead of Pomeranz? Wright is older, looks less athletic and has less experience running the bases. As a knuckleballer he might be useful in a long extra inning game, while Pomeranz wouldn't.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Why wouldn't you use the previous day's starting pitcher as a pinch runner? Eduardo is younger and more athletic than Wright and surely faster. Or if he isn't comfortable or doesn't know what he is doing, then use Pomeranz who was an NL pitcher until recently and ran the bases there.
In addition to being older/slower/less experienced than Rodriguez or Pomeranz, If the game went 16 innings Wright might have been an option to pitch, those others wouldn't.

They should have brought in a pitcher as a pinch runner as soon as Ortiz got on base, but no one came in until he got to second. Lucky he didn't get hurt too.
This is a fair question. In the past when taking Ortiz out for PR it normally isn't until he reaches 2nd base because they don't want to pull his bat out of the lineup if that guy never gets into scoring position. As PH in the pitcher's slot he's not coming back up to bat anyway unless there was a double with employed which I don't remember.