The injury-plagued starting pitching of the Boston Red Sox will have to wait at least another week before the highly anticipated return of David Price to the starting rotation. Price will make a second rehab start at Pawtucket on Wednesday.
Price had a short leash of 65 pitchers in his rehab start last Friday in Buffalo, New York. He hurled two innings, allowed five hits, three earned runs and collected four strikeouts.
Although it was not how Price “drew it up,” he spoke to reporters after the game.
“I felt really good, first time getting back out there and competing,” the left-hander said.
Price returned to Fenway Park on Saturday to work out, manager John Farrell told the Associated Press that Price “threw long-toss aggressively.” His Sunday session would be followed by a light bullpen.
Farrell also told the AP about the upcoming plans about his rehab, “Just to continue to build on the innings, the number of pitches thrown and getting back into the flow of things. But the bottom line is he feels great physically.”
Price is anticipated to throw from 85 to 90 pitches on Wednesday as he looks to build on the progress he made on Friday. The BoSox would be immediately impacted by the return of a healthy Price as they have seen things fall apart on the bump recently.
Today’s game is so heavily relied on a strong pitching staff, most importantly starting pitching. The Red Sox have seen starting pitchers go down left and right all year. First David Price, Drew Pomeranz and then Steven Wright. That has left the job up to substitute starters like Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez and Kyle Kendrick. These depth starters have allowed 22 earned runs in 18.1 innings.
Another detrimental effect a lack of starting pitching can have is on the arms in the bullpen. The energy draining 162 game season can call for a lot of sore arms especially towards the end of the season.
Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree has appeared in 21 games already this season which is tied for fourth in the majors for the most appearances. They also have six relievers with 15 appearances or more. This number shouldn’t shed negative light on the whole rotation because the Red Sox are tied for fifth in the majors for most quality starts with 24.
21 of the 24 quality starts are held by the three healthy BoSox starters – Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello.
Pomeranz has been struggling with injuries since they acquired him for San Diego last year and Price has not pitched all season as his return remains highly anticipated. Once these two starters return to their healthy-selves the Red Sox shall retain a solid starting rotation.
Price lead the MLB last season with 35 starts and 230 innings posting a 17-8 record. This is Price’s second season on a seven-year, $217-million contract.