The Red Sox need to get hot to sneak into the playoffs, but they haven’t given up yet.
Heath Hembree was scheduled to undergo a platelet-rich plasma injection Tuesday in an apparent attempt to shortcut an elbow injury and return to pitch for the Sox before this season ends.
The hard-throwing reliever had a 2.51 ERA on June 10, his last outing before he hit the injured list for the first time this year. He has a 9.00 ERA ever since. He’s back on the Injured List again with right lateral elbow inflammation.
The PRP injection “is not on the inside part of the elbow, it’s on the outside part of the elbow,” manager Alex Cora said.
That is significant because “it’s not his ligament,” Cora said. “It’s not like, the reddest of red flags, I guess.”
Hembree’s velocity has been down 2 to 3 mph since he first hit the Injured List in June and hasn’t been right.
Pitchers who receive PRP injections often need surgery down the road, but circumvent that option with a quicker plan to return to the field.
“We’ll see but we expect him to pitch this season,” Cora said.
Wright makes visit to Dr. Andrews
Knuckleballer Steven Wright would appear less likely to return this year after it was announced Tuesday he will visit Dr. James Andrews, famed orthopedic surgeon well known for performing Tommy John surgeries.
Wright has been trying to come back from the same knee surgery that may have ended Dustin Pedroia’s career, but since has run into arm problems as well.
“Throughout the season, his knee was good, but his arm kind of like, he felt like he could pitch but he wasn’t at his best,” Cora said. “He played catch the other day. He didn’t feel too comfortable so we’re going to send him down there and see Dr. Andrews to see if there’s anything going on.”
Wright’s elbow has become problematic, Cora said.
He didn’t make his season debut until June 26 and made just six relief appearances with an 8.53 ERA before he was placed back on the injured list in mid-July.