SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter didn’t bring Mike Wright here to serve only as an extra arm late in a split-squad game.
Wright, the third-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of East Carolina, replaced Luis Ayala to begin the fourth inning tonight and faced Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez and Bill Hall.
So much for mop-up duty.
Wright struck out Teixeira and Hall and retired Ibanez on a pop up. His fastball registered 92-93 mph.
He wasn’t done. Showalter kept him in the game for the fifth inning, and Wright retired Justin Maxwell on a ground ball, gave up a single to Dewayne Wise and struck out Gustavo Molina. With Brett Gardner batting, catcher Matt Wieters picked off Wise at second base.
Wright, who pitched for the rookie-level Gulf Coast team, short-season Single-A Aberdeen and Single-A Delmarva last summer, had a small cheering section in front of the press box. We’re assuming his father was the one filming Wright on his phone.
Good stuff. And the Wright stuff.