Steven Wright (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright not ruling out return to Red Sox by Opening Day

John Tomase
March 17, 2018 - 4:56 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Steven Wright isn't ruling out making the opening day roster.

The Red Sox knuckleballer threw three innings of live batting practice on Saturday and felt so good that he's aiming big.

"If I keep progressing the way I have been, there's definitely a good chance that I'm going to be able to break with the team," Wright said.

The live BP, Wright's second of the week, continued to test his surgically repaired left knee. The Red Sox had initially ruled out Wright's return in time for the opener in Tampa Bay later this month, but Wright isn't giving up.

"It's nice to get out there and throw," he said. "I feel like I could have gone one more. It was definitely a positive to be able to go out there and throw and feel like I did in the past. I felt strong. I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand really good. Definitely a huge day for me."

Manager Alex Cora agreed.

"He looked great," Cora said. "He told me not to judge him by the first inning. Then you see all the balls by the backstop, so it got better and better. Now we just have to see how he reacts to it, how he feels and we move forward. The eye test, just watching him, it seems like he's in a good place."

While Wright's return by opening day remains uncertain, there's certainly a need, since left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez are dealing with injuries, too.

Next up for Wright will be a minor league game, date and time to be determined.

"We haven't talked about a plan, but from everything that I heard, everything I saw in the dugout, he was upbeat about it," Cora said. "It seems like he's willing to push it now. So that's great. Especially when it comes from the player. To hear him saying positive things about where he's at, that's great. So (Sunday) we'll go to the drawing board and see what's next."

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