Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Price likely to be shut down, surgery possible

@IanMBrowne
September 18, 2019

BOSTON -- With the Red Sox nearing official elimination from the postseason race, they won’t take any chances with key players who are nursing injuries. This means that David Price might not pitch again this season, though those discussions are ongoing. It also means that Mookie Betts won’t step back

BOSTON -- With the Red Sox nearing official elimination from the postseason race, they won’t take any chances with key players who are nursing injuries.

This means that David Price might not pitch again this season, though those discussions are ongoing. It also means that Mookie Betts won’t step back onto the field until the inflammation in his left foot has completely cleared out.

While the injury to Betts is short term -- and likely suffered from playing on the turf in Toronto last week -- Price has pitched just two innings for the Red Sox since Aug. 4 due to a cyst on his left wrist that has been slow to go away.

"The changeup and the cutter, they’re not there yet," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "Obviously we’re running out of time ... Like I always said, this guy is too important to us to just throw him out there just with a fastball. We’ll address it and see what the next step is with it.”

After Boston's 7-6, 15-inning loss to the Giants, Cora updated reporters on the ongoing discussions around Price.

"We talked. Most likely we’re going to get together again just to go over a few things and see where we’re heading, but honestly, it feels like most likely we’re going to shut him down, but we have to go through the whole process and see how David feels about it and obviously the medical staff. Most likely we’ll make a final decision tomorrow," he said of the decision.

There is a possibility that Price will undergo surgery on his pitching hand in the offseason.

“That’s something we’re going to talk about. If that’s an option, if we need it,” said Cora. “Obviously it has limited him as far as [being] able to compete and I think it actually kind of like limited him when he was pitching, what he was able to do.”

How did Cora specifically see Price impacted by the injury?

“We saw it with command and that’s not him. He can get hit, that’s part of it. But with command, he was way off,” Cora said. “He didn’t have that two-seamer in the whole season and that’s a pitch that, throughout his career, he always aced it. That’s a pitch, a put-away pitch against right-handed hitters, and he didn’t have it. We’ll talk about it. We’ll see what we’re going to do. Obviously, everything that can benefit him will be great for the organization.”

As for Betts, he was out of Tuesday’s lineup for the third straight game. The star outfielder had an MRI on Monday that revealed the inflammation but not a significant injury.

"Just got to give it a little time to get out of there,” said Betts. "I don't think it was one incident. I don't remember diving or falling or anything in particular. It's kind of weird how it happened, but it did."

Cora said that if Betts returns for the four-game series in Tropicana Field that starts Friday, he will serve as the DH due to the turf.

Chavis, Hembree close to returns

At one point, it looked like rookie Michael Chavis might miss the rest of the season due to the left oblique injury he suffered during a Minor League rehab assignment.

But the right-handed hitter, whose original injury (an AC joint in his left shoulder) put him on the injured list on Aug. 12, could return this weekend.

“He’s hitting off the machine. He hit BP in the cage. If everything goes well he might be active over the weekend,” said Cora.

Reliever Heath Hembree, who has spent two stints on the injured list due to right elbow woes, is still in play to pitch again before the season is over.

“Heath threw a bullpen today. Next step is a simulated game and hopefully he’ll be active for the Texas series [next week],” Cora said.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.