The Boston Red Sox will start David Price on short rest against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday after the lefty exited early from his last outing.
The Boston Red Sox are mixing up their rotation schedule for the remainder of their series against the Cleveland Indians, perhaps in preparation for the pivotal road trip that lays ahead.
David Price will take the mound for Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park, pitching on short rest following his appearance in Houston on Saturday. He lasted only three batters and 15 pitches in that outing before getting an early hook due to flu-like symptoms that the coaching staff feared were hindering his performance and putting him at risk of potential injury.
Now that he’s fully recovered from the illness, Price is ready to step back on the hill rather than wait for his regular turn, which would have been on Thursday to open a series with the New York Yankees. Whether it was intentional or not, the reshuffled rotation sets the Red Sox up for the ideal alignment for their trip to the Bronx.
Ryan Weber, who has emerged as the latest option to fill the spot starter role during Nathan Eovaldi‘s absence, will start tomorrow’s finale against Cleveland. The right-hander has pitched well in his limited opportunity, including six innings of one-run ball in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays last week. Still, Weber is by far the least experienced rotation option and hasn’t quite earned enough trust to throw him into the intense fires of the rivalry with the Yankees.
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Chris Sale will now start the first game in New York after originally being the only Red Sox starter slated to miss the four-game series. Boston enters the day 6.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees and can’t afford to be buried any further in the standings. They need their ace to get this potentially season-altering series off on the right foot.
His updated spot in the rotation won’t prevent Price from getting his own crack at a Yankees team that has haunted him in recent years. Price went 0-3 with a 10.34 ERA in four regular-season starts against the Bronx Bombers last year and they knocked him out in the second inning of his start in the ALDS to tag him for the only loss of his otherwise stellar postseason run.
A case of elbow tendinitis cost Price a couple of weeks earlier in the month, piling on to the illness that limited him in his last appearance. When he has been healthy enough to pitch, Price has been in excellent form of late. The lefty owns a 2.12 ERA and 10.31 K/9 over his last six starts.
Price will aim to continue that success tonight against an Indians team that he spun eight shutout innings against when he faced them last season. A similar effort will go a long way toward building momentum heading into a rematch with his nemesis in New York this weekend.
Even if a bit of uneasiness lingers when it comes to Price pitching in New York, the lefty is a better option than the unproven Weber. Price and Sale have undoubtedly been the team’s best starters this season and they’ll need both of their horses for this battle in the Bronx. Bumping Price up a couple of days following his abbreviated outing ensures both will be available this weekend.