USA Today Sports

Steven Wright says he's ready to pitch in World Series if needed

Rob Bradford
October 19, 2018 - 11:45 am

HOUSTON -- In among the champagne celebration stood perhaps the first World Series storyline: Steven Wright.

The knuckleballer wasn't a member of the American League Championship Series roster after being taken off the American League Division Series after just one day due to his ailing right knee. But talking to Thursday night, Wright said his knee has responded well enough that he is ready to pitch in the World Series if needed.

"It’s just a matter of if they want me on the roster or not," he said.

Wright executed a bullpen session Tuesday and then another one Thursday. Thanks to a new focus on the positioning of his ankles, taking pressure off his knee, the pitcher turned a corner when it came to his sore knee.

"Yeah, I can pitch," he said "I had a good side today. I’ll probably throw another one on Saturday or Sunday, and if I throw Saturday maybe another one on Monday. But I’ll be ready either way. I told them it’s just a matter of if they feel I deserve a spot I’ll do it. If not I’ll just keep working. I feel good. I feel like I’m going in the right direction. It sucks we weren’t able to do this before the playoffs. But it is what it is. The guys have been doing a great job so far so maybe it’s one of those things where it isn’t broke so don’t fix it. We’ll see."

Entering the postseason Wright was being counted on to pitch in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen. He last pitched in a game on Sept. 29.

Wright was replaced on the roster by Heath Hembree, who faced just three batters in the ALCS after making two appearances against the Yankees.