NEW YORK -- In a concerning development, Red Sox left-hander David Price experienced more numbness in his pitching hand and won't make his scheduled start at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. Rick Porcello will move up one day to take Price's spot, and Eduardo Rodriguez draws the nod in the series
NEW YORK -- In a concerning development, Red Sox left-hander David Price experienced more numbness in his pitching hand and won't make his scheduled start at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. Rick Porcello will move up one day to take Price's spot, and Eduardo Rodriguez draws the nod in the series finale on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox have sent Price back to Boston to try to discover the root of the problem that initially surfaced on April 11 against the Yankees, when he was removed after one inning due to numbness on a cold night at Fenway Park.
Unlike the 42-degree temperature on that April 11 start, Price experienced more numbness while throwing a bullpen session during the warmth of Texas on Sunday.
"In his last bullpen [session], David had the same symptoms that he had before, so we sent him home," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "He went to Boston today. He's actually getting tested as of now so we'll have more on that after the game or tomorrow."
Cora can't be sure that this hand injury is the same as what Price experienced at Fenway Park last month.
"No, I think everybody thought, everybody agreed it was just something that happened that night," Cora said. "We thought it was just a one-day thing. Obviously with the weather, we talked about it and we felt it wasn't going to happen again.
"It came up on Sunday, now we're taking that route. He was tested [in April], but now it's something else. We'll see how it goes. For me, as a manager, I talked to him Sunday and told him, 'Man, your health is more important than just a start or two starts right now. Let's make sure you know what's going on and maybe there's nothing and you'll come back and throw a bullpen [session] and pitch over the weekend or whenever you pitch, but we have to make sure we know what's going on.'"
One thing is clear: Price's results have taken a hit since the night he was pulled against the Yankees at Fenway.
Price was 1-0 and didn't allow a run in 14 innings in his first two starts. In his last five starts, he is 1-4 with an 8.22 ERA.
In his Thursday start against the Rangers, Price turned in his worst outing of the season, giving up six hits, nine runs (seven earned) and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. He wasn't particularly sharp in his April 28 start either, giving up eight hits and six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings against the Rays.
The hope was that Price needed to locate better and change speeds more. But now, it's fair to wonder if his struggles have been health related.
"For me, obviously, his health is most important," said Cora. "The more we know about this situation, the better it's going to be for him and, obviously, for the team."
Last season, Price was limited to just 11 starts due to left elbow woes that started in Spring Training and resurfaced in July. By the end of the season, the Red Sox were encouraged by Price turning in two dominant relief efforts against the Astros in the American League Division Series. Price had a strong winter and was sharp throughout Spring Training.
There was optimism he could be one of the comeback stories of the season until his recent rut.
At this point, the Red Sox hope the injury is not elbow related.
Price is in the third year of a seven-year, $217 million contract he signed with the Red Sox in December 2015.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.