Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher David Price will have his next start pushed back a day but won’t miss a turn after leaving his last outing early.
We can all take a deep sigh of relief. David Price is going to be just fine. The lefty gave us a scare when he departed with an apparent injury after only one inning of work on Wednesday. As it turns out, he won’t miss his next start. The Boston Red Sox are simply pushing him back one day.
Price was lit up by the Yankees for four runs in the first inning of his last outing. It was the shortest start of his career. Clearly, something wasn’t right. We were later informed that Price was pulled after feeling a “sensation” in his left hand.
The early exit immediately set off alarms that Price may be suffering from a recurrence of the elbow issue that limited him to 11 starts and 73 2/3 innings last year. He has since assured us that there is no truth to that speculation. This is an unrelated issue and he never doubted that he’d make his next start.
"“I knew that (Thursday) morning whenever I woke up,” Price told reporters, per WEEI’s John Tomase. “I knew it last night before I went to sleep. There was never any thought in my mind that last year reoccurred or anything like that. My hand was just literally numb and I couldn’t feel it.”"
Lack of feeling in his left hand certainly explains why Price couldn’t locate his pitches against the Yankees. He tossed seven scoreless innings in each of his first two starts. This was not the same pitcher we saw Wednesday. Granted, the Yankees lineup isn’t the same as the light-hitting Tampa Bay Rays, yet there was clearly something wrong with Price.
The good news is that he seems to have recovered quickly. The numbness in his hand may have been related to the chilly temperatures in Boston, which hovered around 40 degrees. Price admitted that cold weather has always bothered him. Hmmm… maybe that explains his postseason struggles?
Price is working with team doctors to try different things to alleviate the effects of the cold weather. In the meantime, the Red Sox are taking another method by putting him in a warmer climate for his next start.
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Instead of pitching at 11 a.m. on Marathon Monday in Boston, Price will have his next start bumped back a day. He’ll now pitch on Tuesday when the team travels west to face the Los Angeles Angels. The warm weather of Southern California should be more to his liking.
Hector Velazquez is slated to start Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles. Chris Sale will pitch the next game on his normal rest schedule. Pushing Price back until the Angels series means they’ll need a sixth starter this turn through the rotation. Brian Johnson will fill that role on Monday against the O’s.
Price is currently scheduled to pitch again on April 21 in Oakland. That would mean he’d be pitching on short rest. There’s a solid chance the Red Sox use Velazquez that night to allow Price to pitch the next game on normal rest. An off day on April 23 would allow the Red Sox to reset their rotation so that Price can slot back in behind Sale the next time through when the team returns home to face the Rays.
Cold weather won’t be as much of an issue out west. It should be warm enough here in Boston by the time Price has to pitch here again at the end of the month. His struggles when he’s cold is an issue to monitor but the Red Sox won’t have to worry about it again until October. That’s plenty of time to find a solution.