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Red Sox make a plan for Price's return

Holt, Johnson start rehab assignments; Pearce working to find batting groove
@IanMBrowne
May 16, 2019

BOSTON -- The Red Sox now have a plan for lefty David Price, and it includes him likely making his return to the rotation next week in Toronto. Price last pitched for Boston on May 2, and has missed the last two weeks due to tendinitis in his left elbow.

BOSTON -- The Red Sox now have a plan for lefty David Price, and it includes him likely making his return to the rotation next week in Toronto.

Price last pitched for Boston on May 2, and has missed the last two weeks due to tendinitis in his left elbow.

After Price throws a bullpen session on Friday at Fenway Park, the Red Sox will decide which day to slot him into the rotation. Boston will play a four-game series against the Blue Jays from Monday through Thursday.

There was some initial discussion about slotting Price back in this weekend against the Astros, but the controlled climate at Rogers Centre played a role in the decision to wait for Toronto.

“He's doing better,” manager Alex Cora said of Price. “He's doing well. As you know, probably the weather [here] is what the weather is. I think that controlled environment in Toronto is better. And also two bullpens in between the start. Instead of going from zero to the start, he gets two bullpens in and then he'll go from there."

Rehab updates
Lefty Brian Johnson and utility player Brock Holt both started Minor League rehab assignments for Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday.

Holt went 0-for-3 with a run scored and a walk, as he batted second and served as the DH in his first rehab game. Johnson allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings, striking out a batter. Holt (scratched cornea in right eye; right shoulder impingement) and Johnson (left elbow inflammation) both went on the injured list on April 6.

The plan is for Johnson to stretch out as a starter, because the Red Sox don’t have much depth beyond their regular rotation. Though Price’s return is imminent, there’s still no precise timetable on when Nathan Eovaldi, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow last month, will return to action.

Pearce still trying to find it
Last year's World Series MVP Award winner, Steve Pearce, continues to be mired in a slump. The first baseman has just seven hits in 63 at-bats, and just two of them are for extra bases. He has a .319 OPS.

“He was out there today, working on his timing, putting his hands in a good place so he can get his swing off," Cora said. "It seems like he’s hesitant. He wants to swing at certain pitches, but he hasn’t been able to pull the trigger. So, just keep working.

“We’re going to go through a stretch here where I think we’re not going to face too many lefties coming up. He’ll keep working.”

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