Price set for further opinions on forearm

Red Sox push back left-hander's spring debut, originally slated for Sunday

March 2nd, 2017

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox have some concern about , who has been scratched from his first start of Spring Training, originally scheduled for Sunday, due to left forearm soreness and will be examined by two renowned orthopedic surgeons in Indianapolis on Friday.

The Red Sox provided the news of Price's injury on Thursday, the day after the club conducted an MRI exam on the left-hander.

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Results of the MRI were inconclusive, Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Thursday's 19-2 win over the Rays at JetBlue Park.

The Red Sox should know more after Price visits with Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neil ElAttrache, who are both in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine.

"You're concerned any time any of your pitchers has a sore elbow," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "To what extent, at this point, we'll have to wait until the doctors see him. But you never like to see a guy step down no matter what, as far as missing any time is concerned. But we'll wait and we'll see, because we just don't have enough information at this point."

Price wasn't available for comment on Thursday.

"There's obviously some swelling in the elbow area; there was some fluid that was detected in the MRI," said Farrell. "He's gone through some soreness in the forearm/elbow area in previous Spring Trainings, but this one has got a little bit more intensity to it."

The symptoms in Price's forearm started to manifest roughly 24 hours after a two-inning simulated game on Tuesday.

"He strained his elbow the other day when he was throwing," said Dombrowski. "He came out of it actually feeling pretty good, and the next day it was bothering him, which was [Wednesday] morning."

Farrell did say that Price felt better on Thursday than he did on Wednesday.

"He's in much better spirits today just in the way he's feeling, the way he's doing everyday activities," Farrell said. "When he came in yesterday morning, there was a little bit more concern on his part with the soreness that set in overnight."

The short- or long-term loss of Price would be significant to the Red Sox, who are looking to have an elite front of the rotation that also includes Chris Sale and .

"We're taking every precaution," said Farrell. "Yes, we are concerned, as we would be with any player. That's why we're taking every step and scratching him for Sunday."

The Red Sox do have quality depth in their rotation. and had injuries down the stretch last season, but both were All-Stars.

Lefty , who fired two perfect innings in his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday, is looking to pitch the way he did in 2015 after battling through right knee woes last season.

Non-roster invitee , who has made 212 career starts, will replace Price in the rotation on Sunday.

"Our guys right now, the five starters in addition to David, remain healthy," Dombrowski said. "I think they're … as good starters as you'll find anywhere as a combination. We're still looking for some of our other guys here in camp to establish themselves … guys like , , , Hector Velazquez, Kendrick, so that gives us a little bit more depth."

In 2016, Price's first season with the Red Sox, he went 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA while leading the American League with 230 innings and compiling 228 strikeouts.