TORONTO -- Before the Red Sox play their series finales against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, important markers will take place in the afternoon for two key players hoping to play a role down the stretch.Left-hander David Price is likely to throw off the mound for the first time
TORONTO -- Before the Red Sox play their series finales against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, important markers will take place in the afternoon for two key players hoping to play a role down the stretch.
Left-hander David Price is likely to throw off the mound for the first time since July 22. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia will go full speed on the bases, which will be the final test to determine if he's ready to be activated against the Yankees this weekend.
"Yeah, if all goes good tomorrow, hopefully I'll be out there," Pedroia said on Tuesday.
While there's no question Pedroia will play again this season -- perhaps as early as Thursday -- Price's status is fully contingent on how he responds to his increase in activity.
Price went on the disabled list on July 28 with inflammation in his left elbow, and he has tried to work his way back in small increments. Wednesday will be his biggest test yet.
"Yeah, it would be a big step," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Any time a pitcher goes through that long toss and flat ground phase of their throwing, and then you start to incorporate the angle, that's clearly a positive step. We'll see how things build into tomorrow."
Pedroia, who has played just one game for the Red Sox since July 28 due to left knee inflammation, is confident that he's finally turned a corner.
"We're trying to do everything we can to get it better and make sure when I get out there I stay out there," Pedroia said. "Just trying to build up right now. We'll get the strength part tested every way I can before I get out there."
Though there's still close to a week left in the Minor League season, Pedroia doesn't sound compelled to go on a rehab assignment.
"Just go compete," said Pedroia. "I'm not a big believe in, 'Oh your timing's off,' or anything like that. Once you get in the box, I mean, I've had, I don't know, what, 5,000 at-bats to get my timing? If I don't have it by now, I don't think I'll ever get it. But it's just going out there and competing. That's it."
Price won't have time to pitch in Minor League games, but the Red Sox will be able to simulate games for him if he makes enough progress.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.