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Red Sox activate Heath Hembree to replace Steven Wright

Rob Bradford
October 06, 2018 - 2:19 pm
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This might not have been "Plan C and a half" as Alex Cora described his decision to start the eighth inning with Rick Porcello Friday night, but it certainly wasn't part of the Red Sox' original blueprint for the American League Division Series.

The team announced that it was replacing Steven Wright on the 25-man roster with Heath Hembree after Wright's knee wouldn't allow the knuckleballer to pitch. Wright underwent an MRI and was scheduled to be further examined Saturday.

Hembree just missed out on making the original roster, with Joe Kelly and Brandon Workman serving as the final two pieces of the pitching staff for the best-of-five series.

The righty had shown some positive results after making an adjustment on the pitching rubber of late, not giving up a run over his three most recent appearances. But leading up to the final week of the regular season Hembree was in a month-long slump, totaling a 9.00 ERA and 1.049-OPS against in 11 appearances starting on Aug. 22. Most importantly, he wasn't limiting the damage with runners on base,  giving up a 1.583 OPS-against with runners in scoring position.

The only relievers to not pitch in Game 1 were Joe Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez, with Nathan Eovaldi representing another possibility to come out of the bullpen.

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