It’s been nearly two months since David Price last pitched for the Boston Red Sox, and manager John Farrell understands the clock is working against them as the regular season winds down.
Price, who has been on the disabled list with an elbow issue since July 28, pitched a three-inning simulated game Wednesday at Fenway Park. Farrell told reporters he’d meet with Price on Thursday to map out the next steps, but the Sox skipper acknowledged that it’d be “aggressive” to bring back the veteran pitcher in a starting role, suggesting that a transition to the bullpen isn’t out of the question.
?We recognize the calendar, we recognize if you take the starter path, what realistically lies ahead? There?s going to be additional sim games to continue to build him out to a higher number of pitches than there?s going to be, 45, (on Wednesday),? Farrell said earlier in the day on WEEI’s “Dale & Holley with Keefe,” per WEEI.com. “If you take the reliever route, you can activate him sooner and get him into game action as a two-inning type of reliever. These are the things we need to weigh out, but more importantly, what?s best for David and his health. That?s what will be the priority.”
Price pitched out of the bullpen after first breaking into the majors, even making five appearances in the postseason for the Tampa Bay Rays back in 2008. He most recently made a relief appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2015 American League Division Series, picking up a win despite struggling in three innings of bullpen work.
The Red Sox obviously entered this season with hopes that Price would be a stabilizing force in their rotation after an up-and-down first campaign in Boston in 2016. Inconsistency and injury woes have plagued the veteran left-hander, though, and now it’s nearly impossible to gauge what he’ll provide down the stretch and/or into the playoffs.
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