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Injured Price feels 'better by the day'

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early signs are encouraging for Red Sox left-hander David Price, who feels "better by the day," according to manager John Farrell.

Price is in the middle of a mandated shutdown period due to an elbow strain.

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early signs are encouraging for Red Sox left-hander David Price, who feels "better by the day," according to manager John Farrell.

Price is in the middle of a mandated shutdown period due to an elbow strain.

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The earliest he will attempt to pick up a baseball and initiate some throwing is at some point this weekend. But that is only if his symptoms allow it.

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"David Price is initiating more strengthening exercises here today," said Farrell. "He continues to feel improvement. Friday/Saturday is still the time frame that we'll reassess to either put a ball in his hand at that point or maintain the rehab exercises. He feels better by the day. That's the update for right now."

The Red Sox won't have a timetable for Price to pitch in games until he resumes throwing for a few days.

Worth noting

• Left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Steven Wright took the last step required for them to join the Grapefruit League rotation, pitching against each other in a simulated game on the main diamond at JetBlue Park.

Both hurlers threw two innings, facing Carlos Quentin, Cole Sturgeon, Mike Olt and Matt McLean. Pomeranz threw 35 pitches to catcher Blake Swihart. Wright threw 37 pitches to batterymate Sandy Leon. Wright missed most of the stretch run last season due to right shoulder bursitis. Pomeranz pitched through left forearm soreness. Both could pitch in a game as early as Monday. Barring any setbacks, they should both be ready for the start of the regular season.

Hanley Ramirez hasn't been cleared to play defense yet due to his right shoulder injury, but Farrell doesn't think the slugger will need many reps to be ready to start at first base against lefties in the regular season. The alignment of Ramirez DHing against righties and playing first against lefties is key for Farrell regarding the usage of Chris Young.

"Hanley even has that confidence as well that with three and a half weeks to go, we're hopeful to see that throwing program begin to increase," Farrell said. "We need him to be on the field defensively for those games that we've talked about to get Chris Young in the lineup. Chris has been a very good contributor when he's been on the field for us. His versatility and ability to play defense really works well with the rest of our roster."

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

Boston Red Sox, David Price