Red Sox

David Price's elbow injury 'much less' severe than in spring training

David Price's elbow injury 'much less' severe than in spring training

BOSTON — The Red Sox put forth some optimism about David Price’s elbow while maintaining the wall of secrecy around the lefty’s health that’s been in place since spring training.

Price, who wound up on the disabled list Friday instead of the Fenway Park mound as previously scheduled, could play catch as soon as Monday or Tuesday, manager John Farrell said. Officially, Price has left elbow inflammation.

“I don't think this is anything compared to what he went through in spring training in terms of severity,” Farrell said Friday afternoon. “Much less. That’s by his own admission.”

That’s good news.

So, is the ulnar collateral ligament the root problem? Is the issue more muscular, perhaps with the forearm? It’s unclear. It was unclear in March, too, when Price went to visit a pair of surgeons at the NFL combine and was told he didn’t need surgery, but may have required an operation were he younger. (What operation? The Sox and Price never said.)

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said “elbow” and “forearm” could be used interchangeably. Price said in spring that he has a “unique” elbow.

Dombrowski at one point in his press conference gestured toward his own forearm when talking about the location of Price’s injury, and noted Price is hurting in a different place than he was previously

“I didn’t hear anything right after his last start [Saturday in Anaheim],” Dombrowski said. “We were in Seattle. I remember there was a lot going on there in Seattle, trade conversations. I arrived to the ballpark later on Tuesday. They told me he was a little bit uncomfortable in his elbow.

“Not the same area where he was hurt before. It was a situation where, well, let’s see what happens the next day, how he felt. The next day he felt about the same. At that point, what we decided to do was to get an MRI first thing Thursday morning, which he did when he got back. That’s where we decided to put him on the disabled list.”

Dombrowski said there were no present plans for Price to travel to visit another doctor for a second opinion, but made it sound like Price may have other doctors look at the imaging that’s already been done.

Price did not speak to the media on Friday afternoon. Both Farrell and Dombrowski were firm that Price was not on the disabled list to avoid the Fenway Park fans and any negative reaction to the Dennis Eckersley incident. Price hasn’t pitched at home since the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy detailed Price’s encounter with Eckersley on a team flight.

Doug Fister is to take Price’s spot in the rotation for now, Dombrowski said.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

mlb_rob_manfred_081414.jpg

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

cy_young_corey_kluber_chris_sale_111517.jpg

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE