Red Sox Talk: John Farrell Will Pinch Run With A Pitcher Again Despite Injuring All-Star Steven Wright
During inter-league play last season Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell sent All-Star pitcher Steven Wright out to the base pads to pinch run. Wright ended up suffering an injury but despite that fact Farrell is full steam ahead in terms of using a pitcher to pinch run again if the situation calls for it.
“No, not at all,” the Red Sox manager told WEEI.com when asked if he would change his approach toward using a pitcher on the basepaths. “It was an unfortunate situation that cost him pretty much the remainder of the year. In a National League situation, we’ll look to do the same again.”
Wright suffered the injury after jamming his shoulder diving back to second base on a fake pickoff move by Dodgers pitcher Joe Blanton. Wright was pinch-running for David Ortiz, who the Red Sox were prioritizing getting off his feet during the three-game set in Los Angeles.
“In National League rules? Yes,” said Farrell when asked about taking the same approach. “It was an unfortunate incident. But I felt confident in Steven’s ability to do what we asked and that was because of the time we spend in spring training on baserunning.”
“The most succinct way to describe it is to not draw attention to yourself,” he explained. “In other words, don’t get off with a big lead. There’s a reason why you’re out there and that is to give the person off their feet because either they are hampered or restricted in some way. Unfortunately in this case, [Wright] had a big lead.”
Farrell made sure to point out that he has pitchers run the bases in practice and with the current system in place to help make the situation less of a challenge and more of a routine despite its rare status in the American League.
“The structure we put together is to educate as best possible, realizing an American League pitcher on the base paths is going to be a foreign scenario,” Farrell said. “We know that going in. But what we try and do is make sure they don’t draw attention to themselves.”