Boston Red Sox left-hander David Price will not make his scheduled start on Friday against the New York Yankees after a setback with his wrist.
It’s a good thing the Boston Red Sox bullpen is overloaded with relievers. They’re going to need them with the rotation down another arm.
David Price was expected to open a four-game series against the New York Yankees on Friday but he was scratched from his scheduled start after suffering a setback with the wrist that sidelined him for nearly a month. The lefty reportedly felt tightness in his wrist in the area of the cyst that he received treatment on in early August.
His trip to the injured list followed his worst outing of the season when the Yankees shelled him for seven runs over 2 2/3 innings. The Bronx Bombers have long been a nemesis of Price. He’s 16-15 with a 5.03 ERA in 44 career appearances against the Yankees.
His last meeting with the Yankees was far worse than usual and can mostly be chalked up to the wrist issue that plagued him for weeks. Price was 0-3 with a 10.58 ERA in his last four starts prior to being placed on the IL.
Price looked sharp in his return last Sunday but was only able to last two innings. After missing several weeks and without the benefit of a minor league rehab assignment, the Red Sox didn’t want to push Price more than 45 pitches.
With every game of vital importance down the stretch as the Red Sox cling to slim playoff hopes, there’s no way they could send Price to the mound with an ailing wrist against a loaded Yankees lineup. Price had trouble throwing his cutter and changeup during a bullpen session and he can’t get away with relying heavily on his fastball.
Boston plans on going with consecutive bullpen games to open the series. They already planned to do so for Saturday’s game and doubling up on the strategy is more appealing than scraping the bottom of the barrel of their rotation depth. Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez, or Ryan Weber could give them an inning or two but more than that against the Yankees is asking for trouble.
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With 17 relievers at their disposal, the Red Sox can nearly get away with using a different pitcher for each inning between these two games.
Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez will wrap up the final two games of the series. Porcello’s 5.63 ERA is the worst in the majors among qualified starters so a date with the Yankees is a disaster waiting to happen. The bullpen may get plenty of work in that game as well.
The setback for Price is a discouraging one that potentially threatens to end his season. He had a PRP injection to break up the cyst, which was restricting the movement of his wrist and impacting his delivery. Now that the issue has flared up again, surgery is a possibility. The PRP shot clearly didn’t work and it took him almost a month to recover from it. There’s no time to try that again.
A more permanent solution should have Price ready to go by next spring but getting him back on the mound this season is looking improbable. The Red Sox rotation is already without Chris Sale. Losing Price again would make the steep mountain they must climb to reach the postseason seem nearly insurmountable.