Red Sox lefty David Price reveals cyst caused recent slump
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox lefty David Price shed some light on the cyst on his wrist which helps explain his recent poor performances.
The Boston Red Sox placing David Price on the 10-day injured list caught us a bit by surprise but in retrospect, we should have known something was up based on his poor performances of late. The lefty provided some clarity about the cyst on his wrist that helps explain why he had been struggling on the mound.
Price last appeared a week ago in the Bronx when he was shelled for seven earned runs against the New York Yankees while failing to escape the third inning. It was the third time in his last four outings that he couldn’t make it through five innings and he posted a brutal 10.58 ERA over his last four starts.
Prior to this rough patch, Price was in the midst of a strong season with a 7-2 record and 3.16 ERA. His ERA has since risen to 4.36, his highest since his rookie season if he doesn’t improve upon it by the end of the season. The rotation’s most consistent starter had suddenly morphed into a liability.
It turns out there was a reason Price hasn’t been throwing the ball as effectively lately. According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Price explained how the cyst on his wrist has impacted his delivery over his last “three or four starts,” which can be traced back to when his season started falling apart.
"“It kind of just affected the range of motion in my wrist,” Price explained. “My hand strength and being able to get out front and execute pitches.”"
Price went on to detail how the tight sensation in his wrist prevented him from moving it backwards, resulting in the ball coming out of his hand a split second too early and preventing him from getting out in front of his pitches.
The key to pitching is the ability to routinely repeat the same mechanics. Any slight deviation to the delivery can result in a dangerous lack of command. A pitch meant to paint the corners could end up far outside the strike zone where a hitter won’t be tempted to chase – or worse, a meatball over the middle of the plate.
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The lingering question following this revelation is that if Price knew his delivery was compromised during his last several starts, why did it take so long to address the issue? He never should have taken the mound for the series finale in New York, a game the Red Sox desperately needed to avoid a humiliating four-game sweep that crushed any slim chances of climbing back into the division race.
Price tried to tough it out knowing his team needed him to step up but his heroics ultimately did more harm than good. Granted, Brian Johnson hasn’t exactly impressed since stepping into the rotation but he can’t be any worse than an injured Price had been pitching.
Price indicated his wrist has improved since getting a shot injected in the cyst that he hopes will eliminate the problem. Surgery may be required to remove the cyst if it returns but it’s not a major procedure that would sideline him for the season.
The Red Sox should get Price back in the near future and if he returns to pitching the way he was pre-cyst, there’s still time for the team to make a run at a Wild Card spot.