David Price Could See Live Batters Soon, Still Isn’t Throwing Breaking Ball

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David Price isn’t quite ready for game action, but the left-hander is breezing through his throwing program so far.

Price, who’s been dealing with an elbow strain since spring training, threw another bullpen for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. And this time, Price took breaks to mimic an actual game and came out feeling good.

“I haven’t had any setbacks yet,” Price said, per WEEI.com. “It’s going pretty smooth.”

However, Price still hasn’t returned to throwing breaking balls from the mound. He’s done it from flat ground, but he’s been limited to fastballs and curveballs in his bullpens. Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis said they’re just working on arm strength for now, and he doesn’t think it’s critical for Price to have his breaking ball ready when he faces live batters again, which could come as early as next week.

“I don’t necessarily think that once we get to the point where we are facing hitters in a batting practice setting that it’s necessary to already have your breaking ball in play,” Willis said, per WEEI.com. “You can go out and face those hitters in a (batting practice) situation with a fastball and changeup, and then you progress forward because your breaking pitch comes off your fastball and release point with the arm speed.”

It’s been very apparent that Price and the Red Sox are trying to make sure the 31-year-old is 100 percent rather than rushing him back.

“Didn’t want to push it too much, with it being the first time I’m throwing pitches and then taking a break and getting back up and throwing more,” Price said.

There’s no real timetable for Price yet, but he would need about four rehab starts after seeing live batters, which would put his return around late May or early June at the earliest.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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