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.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Opening Day is later this month. As a spring-training exercise, here’s one way to look at the Red Sox' current roster situation.
The roster positions are numbered to 25, with a presumed 13 bench players and 12 pitchers.
There seem to be three competitions: Three players for two spots at the back of the bench, the final spot in the rotation (at least to begin the season while Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright rehab) and the final spot in the bullpen.
CATCHER (Alex Cora has said these two are his catchers, for those watching Blake Swihart’s progress closely.)
1. Christian Vazquez
2. Sandy Leon (no minor-league options)
3. Mitch Moreland
4. Eduardo Nunez
5. Xander Bogaerts
6. Rafael Devers
7. Hanley Ramirez
8. Jackie Bradley
9. Andrew Benintendi
10. Mookie Betts
11. J.D. Martinez
12. BUBBLE-ISH: Brock Holt (options)
13. BUBBLE: Blake Swihart (no options), Deven Marrero (no options)
COMING BACK EVENTUALLY: Dustin Pedroia
14. Chris Sale
15. David Price
16. Rick Porcello
17. Drew Pomeranz
18. Fifth starter, Brian Johnson (out of options, could be in bullpen)
BUBBLE: Hector Velazquez (options), Roenis Elias (options)
19. Craig Kimbrel
20. Carson Smith
21. Robby Scott
22. Joe Kelly
23. Matt Barnes
24. Heath Hembree (out of options)
25. BUBBLE: Brandon Workman (options), Austin Maddox (options), Fernando Rodriguez (minors deal)
COMING BACK EVENTUALLY: Tyler Thornburg, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- J.D. Martinez was at the Red Sox’ facility on Wednesday, and a press conference to introduce him could come later in the day (or possibly Thursday). NBC Sports Boston analyst Lou Merloni reported manager Alex Cora has given up his No. 28 for Martinez.
David Price was teammates with Martinez in Detroit, and had high remarks about the Red Sox soon-to-be DH on Wednesday morning.
MORE ON MARTINEZ
“Great teammate. Great player obviously. Tons of power,” Price said. “Being with him in Detroit in 2014 and the first half of 2015, watching the way he swung the bat and just power to all fields. He really took after Miggy’s [Miguel Cabrera’s] approach when he was in Detroit and it did wonders for him. He’s going to drive the ball to right field, right center, if the pitcher makes a mistake with the breaking ball he’s going to hit that to left field. So he’s fun to watch, a great dude, a really good acquisition.”
Price believes Martinez can handle Boston’s scrutiny.
“Yeah. You got my vote,” Price said. “He’s different than me. So it’s good.
“Go play baseball. Just go be yourself. Go be the hitter he’s been ever since I think it was 2014 when he had that breakout season in Detroit. He’s a great dude. He’s quiet. He’s going to go about his business and he’s going to hit a lot of homers for us.”