Red Sox recall knuckleballer Wright, send Hembree down

Prospect gives Boston's taxed bullpen a long reliever

Red Sox recall knuckleballer Wright, send Hembree down

BOSTON -- For the third straight day, the Red Sox recalled a pitcher from Triple-A Pawtucket. This time, it was knuckleballer Steven Wright who got the call. Heath Hembree was sent back down just a day after he was recalled.

The issue is that the bullpen has been asked to pitch too often early in the season. Wright at least gives Boston a long reliever.

"We've had some starts that have gone a little bit deeper [of late]," said manager John Farrell. "Still not ideal. Not to where we're targeting or where we're hoping our rotation will take us each and every night. We've leaned on our bullpen early on in the year. That's not completely uncommon until the rotation hits its full stride. Steven is here in case something unforeseen takes place, we've got someone to protect us with length."

Wright made the team out of Spring Training and nearly got an early-season start, but Joe Kelly wound up being activated in time to take his regular turn in the rotation.

In Boston's 19-inning win at Yankee Stadium on April 10, Wright went five innings for the win, only to be optioned the next day.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.