Red Sox

Price has 'plenty of work ahead of him' after rocky rehab start

Price has 'plenty of work ahead of him' after rocky rehab start

OAKLAND — Forget the velocity, the depth to the breaking ball, any of that. The box score alone tells you that David Price isn’t ready to come back without at least one more minor league game.

The lefty’s first rehab outing since his elbow strain — and his first time in game action since the Division Series — was not ideal Friday in Buffalo with Triple-A Pawtucket. 

He went two innings and 65 pitches, striking out the side in the first inning against the Blue Jays’ Triple-A club, but laboring through both frames. 

The Red Sox said that Price was not removed because of injury, but the intensity of the innings he pitched.

Price allowed five hits and three earned runs, struck out four and walked one. He threw 41 strikes, seven of them swinging, per the PawSox.

When Sox manager John Farrell spoke to reporters Friday ahead of a game against the A’s on the West Coast, Price had just started his outing.

The target for Price was 85-90 pitches.

“Watching it upstairs, the first [thing] he sees is a 15-pitch at-bat and then he strikes out the side,” Farrell said. “So it’s a 31-pitch first inning. But watching it on TV, there was plenty of swing of miss. Looked like there was plenty of power. He’s got plenty of work ahead of him.”

Farrell wasn’t aware of the second inning’s results at that point. But, there was a reason the Red Sox did not option Hector Velazquez on Friday after a disappointing big league debut Thursday. They wanted to see how Price fared.

It’s unclear how exactly they’ll handle Velazquez’s turn through the rotation next week. The Sox have an off-day Monday. But keeping Price on a rehab assignment is a no-brainer.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.