ST. PETERSBURG -- College football was in the air at Tropicana Field as newly acquired reliever Wesley Wright arrived in the clubhouse.
Wright, a native of Montgomery, Ala., and an avid Auburn Tigers fan, had a message for his new teammate Desmond Jennings, a Birmingham native and Alabama Crimson Tide supporter.
"I said, 'War Eagle' to him when I saw him in the training room," Wright said. "I think he was surprised I came with that."
"He said War Eagle…But I didn't hear it," Jennings quipped back.
After pitching in just three games in his latest Majors stint, reliever Josh Lueke was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room for Wright, who was claimed off waivers from the Astros on Monday.
Wright's ERA (3.92) is elevated compared to his last two years in Houston, but he said he's been "a little unlucky." Nonetheless, he is excited to be a part of a team in the hunt for a playoff spot.
"This clubhouse is a little more experienced," he said. "We had 14 rookies in Houston. That's tough at times, because a lot of people are learning on the job. To come here with guys who are established, you can rely on your teammates. It's going to be great."
Manager Joe Maddon said he plans to use the left-hander primarily against left-handed hitters.
Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.