David Price's first full-fledged pitching effort from a mound since Feb. 28 went well on Monday, both he and manager John Farrell told reporters in Detroit.
Throwing a bullpen session is a big step as Price comes back from a left elbow injury. But no one will know quite how it went until Tuesday morning.
"Come out feeling good," Price told reporters Monday. "I wanted to have a productive day today but I want to feel good tomorrow. It's kind of like spring training all over again."
It was the day after Price's last bullpen session that he felt stiff. That's when there was a scramble to send him to see two renowned surgeons, who recommended the conservative treatment that brought him to this point.
"Threw the ball well," Farrell said. "The biggest thing is that the intensity increases in throwing, the volume as it's increased, he's responded well physically to it. That's the hopeful goal of tomorrow, coming in, feeling as consistent as he's been. Provided he does, we would be looking at a bullpen again on Wednesday."
From here, it sounds like Price will essentially restart spring training.
"We'll take a progression similar to spring training getting in front of some hitters in a simulated session that would be with us before he'd go out anywhere," Farrell said. "While we have some tentative plans for that progression, we're probably responding or addressing this as David responds to the work sessions. Thus far, it's been good.
"It's hard to project right now what not only a sim game but when a rehab assignment would begin or how many starts needed."
Price threw changeups on the mound Monday. He has not thrown a breaking ball off the mound yet, but may Wednesday in the next planned bullpen session, Farrell said.
On NESN, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Price could face hitters as soon as next week.
"No pain whatsoever, good zip on the ball, he’s making continued progress," Dombrowski said. "I think he’s right on the timeframe that we are talking about at this point. He’ll throw again on Wednesday. … One thing with him, you have to be careful, You have to kind of guard him against himself because he doesn’t have a shutdown notch. When he goes out there he really lets loose, so that’s why John’s out there watching him every single time he throws."
Asked by Sox broadcaster Dave O'Brien if a return for Price in May were viable, Dombrowski backed away from the timeframe idea.
"I really don’t even have a timeframe at this point," Dombrowski said. "We’re just kind of letting him take it step by step. I think he’s going to throw a couple more sides. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s throwing to hitters next week. So he’d be in a position where all of a sudden, then we’d just take it from there. But he might be able to throw two or three innings the first time he goes out there. So when that starts happening, we’ll just take it step by step."