LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox breathed a huge sigh of relief Friday, when they received news that David Price will not need surgery, manager John Farrell announced after Boston's 9-1 win over Atlanta.The star left-hander will be shut down for the next seven to 10 days to
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox breathed a huge sigh of relief Friday, when they received news that David Price will not need surgery, manager John Farrell announced after Boston's 9-1 win over Atlanta.
The star left-hander will be shut down for the next seven to 10 days to recover from the forearm and elbow soreness he began experiencing roughly 24 hours after pitching a two-inning simulated game on Tuesday.
• Spring Training: Tickets | Schedule | Ballpark | Gear | Coverage
"He is on his way back," Farrell said of Price. "No surgery, no ... injection of any kind. The approach we're going to take with him is he'll receive medication and treatment in the next seven to 10 days. We'll re-evaluate him at that time."
Price, who was was scheduled to make his first Spring Training start on Sunday, had been experiencing soreness in his pitching forearm and elbow, and the Red Sox sought further evaluation this week in Indianapolis from Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who were there for the NFL Combine.
En route back to Indianapolis on Friday, Price seemed to be in good spirits judging by a tweet.
It is a season of great expectations for the Red Sox, built around a front three of the rotation that could be the best in the game with newly acquired Chris Sale, reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and Price.
On Thursday, it seemed that rotation might take a big hit with the news that Price was scratched from his first Spring Training start on Sunday due to soreness in his pitching forearm and elbow.
The fact that the club was so swift in sending Price to Indianapolis to see two renowned orthopedic surgeons (Andrews and ElAttrache), spoke volumes of the concern level.
Though the prognosis from the doctors is clearly encouraging, it would not be surprising to see Price start the season on the disabled list.
Once Price is cleared to resume throwing, he will probably need roughly a week to build back up before he can throw in a Grapefruit League game. The Red Sox will want to get Price fully stretched out before having him pitch in the regular season.
Boston has some depth in the rotation, with six quality starters including Price. Before the injury to Price, two All-Stars from last season (Steven Wright and Thomas Pomeranz) were competing with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez for the final two spots in the rotation.
If Price misses time in April, the Red Sox could break camp with all three of those starters in the rotation to join Porcello and Sale.
With David Ortiz now retired but the lineup mostly set, the Red Sox's biggest offseason moves revolved around upgrading their pitching to try to defend their AL East title and improve on last year's knockout in the Division Series.
"Even talking with David on his way up there, he felt with each passing hour he was becoming more free," Farrell said. "So, as we talked about him experiencing this kind of forearm issue in Spring Training, it may be a little bit more intensified this year. But still, it's kind of the Spring Training arm [issue] he goes through."
Price underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday that revealed inconclusive results, though Farrell noted on Thursday that Price was feeling better a day after the initial soreness.
Price has six years and $187 million remaining on the record deal he signed last offseason.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Although Price finished last season with his highest ERA (3.99) since '09, he still ranked among the top 5 American Leaguers in wins (17), innings (230) and strikeouts (228). Factoring in his elite ceiling as well as the current injury concerns, Price should be regarded as a No. 2 starter in mixed-league drafts. With Price likely to miss the start of the season, owners could look to Rodriguez as a fine sleeper pick. The most likely option to take Price's rotation spot in early April, the 23-year-old Rodriguez delivered a 3.24 ERA with 79 K's in 77 2/3 innings after last year's All-Star break and can be picked in the late rounds of drafts this spring.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com.