BOSTON — David Price's fastball still has the juice he’s shown all year when healthy. The lefty pitched in relief for the first time since joining the Red Sox in a 3-2 loss against the Rays on Sunday afternoon, touching 96 mph at Tropicana Field. He struck out two in a pair of hitless innings.
Price handled the seventh and eighth innings, his first work in a major league game since July 22. That day, he made his final start ahead of his second trip to the disabled list this year for an arm injury.
Price on Sunday didn’t seem to be shying away from either his breaking ball or change-up — the pitches he told The Athletic contributed most to his latest DL stint, because of discomfort felt in the lower triceps.
Per MLB.com's pitch classification, Price threw four curveballs and four change-ups. Of his 21 pitches, 15 were strikes, and he needed just seven pitches in his first inning of work.
The choice to put Price in the bullpen appears the safest, and does help out a group of relievers who could use another big arm. But whether he is most valuable as a starter, and whether his effectiveness is any greater in relief, are more complicated questions.