The Boston Red Sox were hoping to get one of their aces back from the IL this weekend but a setback has pushed David Price’s return to another time.
There was hope that the Red Sox would be able to get one of their patented weapons back this weekend. However, just as the baseball gods giveth they shall taketh away. The original idea was to re-activate David Price from the IL and have him start the final game in San Diego on Sunday, but that’s gone out the window.
It’s been an up and down year for Price but for the most part, he was a reliable force within the Red Sox starting rotation. In a year that saw Chris Sale show mere glimpses of his normal self, it was Price that would carry the mantle of “Ace” for much of 2019.
Then on August 8th, he would see his name added to the Injured List due to a cyst on his wrist. Instantly Price felt that this was the cause of his mixed season and through some therapy and injections, he felt positive results.
But just as it seemed like he was ready to make his return against the Padres, Boston made the decision to be more cautious with the veteran left. I don’t blame them for wanting to take their time with his return either. The Sox are currently 6.5 games back in the wild card race and no matter what they do that number just doesn’t want to go down.
With Sale out for what will be the rest of the season and a tight rotation, it makes all the sense to not rush Price back just to have him re-aggravate something. If he can make his return to the starting lineup and be either at 100% or damn close to it, which is what the Red Sox need, then that needs to be the goal.
If that means an extra week of rest and simulations/bullpen games then so be it. Boston is skating on paper-thin ice right now and even the slightest misstep will send them crashing through.
"“We didn’t feel comfortable pushing him to pitch this weekend,” Cora said. “It’s not that there are red flags but he’s not where we want him to be. He’s a guy we have to take care of.”"
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In the 105.1IP that he has thrown this season, Price has amassed a 7-5 record with a 126/31 K/BB ratio and 4.36 ERA. Not his best numbers by any sort, but he’d still be the top pitcher in many starting rotations. Much of his early-season bad luck came in games where he would hold up his end but the Boston offense would be dormant. Getting him back just-in-time for the final push to the postseason would be a godsend for the Red Sox.
The new plan for Price is to have him throw a simulated game while the Sox are in Dever to battle the Rockies. If he shows good improvement during the rehab work then we very well may see him back in the rotation against the Angels a few days later. This would get David back into the mix just in time for the Sox to make their way back to Fenway for a seven-game homestand.
It’s no secret that the Boston pitching staff has been unreliable this season. At one point it was the starters not carrying their weight and then the relievers. All that’s certain is that David Price does his best work when the light’s a shining the brightest. With just a few weeks left to salvage the season, the Red Sox will need him to be nothing short of masterful upon his return.