Red Sox: David Price resumes throwing for first time since elbow discomfort
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher David Price took another step toward his return from an injury scare by completing a successful throwing session.
One day after Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated that David Price wasn’t ready to resume throwing, the veteran lefty defied expectations with a successful throwing session.
It wasn’t much, but Price managed to make 25 throws into a net in the batting cage. This marks the first time that he’s thrown a baseball since experiencing elbow discomfort on March 1, which prompted a visit to see Drs. James Andrews and Neal ElAttrache two days later.
The Red Sox dodged a bullet when both doctors agreed that surgery wouldn’t be necessary, but they weren’t out of the woods yet. We were told that Price would take 7-10 days off before being reevaluated, leaving us in the dark as to when the star pitcher would make it back to the mound.
Saturday puts us right in the middle of that projected window, so an update on his progress was to be expected. That Price was actually able to complete a throwing session already is a bit of a surprise, but an encouraging one.
Farrell spoke with reporters in Fort Myers this morning to provide the good news, while cautiously warning that Price is still early in the process of his recovery. Via WEEI’s Rob Bradford:
"“I know yesterday we talked about increasing the rehab and putting some plyometrics in place. But he actually went and threw in the cage today, about 25 throws and the range of motion, the freeness to the movement is all positive,” Farrell said. “Granted, we recognize we’re at the early stages right now, but it’s a good day for David.”"
Price appears to be progressing about as well as anyone could have expected, but let’s pump the breaks on speculating his availability for Opening Day. Tossing a few pitches into a net isn’t exactly the same as throwing off a mound, so he still has a long way to go. It’s a great sign that Price’s elbow was deemed healthy enough to even pick up a baseball again, but he has still missed valuable time in camp. He may be ahead of schedule in terms of his recovery, but he remains behind the rest of the pitching staff in regards to preparing for the upcoming season.
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If he is fully recovered from the elbow soreness that sent Red Sox Nation into a panic, Price still needs to follow the steps outlined by the training staff that will eventually lead to him getting back on the mound. Farrell explained that when Price does throw off a mound is when they’ll be able to see the full extension of his arm, so the team will need to see how he responds to that before projecting his return.
At this point we are still without a time frame for when Price will return to the rotation. Even after he clears the hurdle of throwing off a mound, he still needs time to ramp up his workload. The Red Sox would be wise to remain cautious, so the best option for Price may be for him to start the season on the disabled list, leaving him behind for an extended spring training.
Boston has the depth to fill out the rotation without Price, at least temporarily. Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez could all begin the year in the rotation, giving the Red Sox additional time to evaluate which one of them will be relegated to the bullpen once Price is ready to eventually return.
It wasn’t much more than a week ago that the Red Sox were concerned that Price might not return at all this year, but he’s made tremendous progress in a relatively short period. He’s not back yet, but this promising step signals that Price’s return may be on the horizon.