Red Sox

No surgery likely for Price; Pedroia seeing specialists about his knee

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No surgery likely for Price; Pedroia seeing specialists about his knee

BOSTON — David Price does not appear headed for surgery on his left elbow this winter, while Dustin Pedroia’s left knee situation requires further consultation.

“It heals itself,” Price told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal this summer of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. The second trip to the disabled list this season was more about the lower triceps, Price told Rosenthal. But as for his UCL, and potential Tommy John surgery, that doesn’t seem to be the plan unless definitely needed.

Price therefore is expected ready for spring training with rest and strengthening.

“I think so. I hope so. That’s what the doctors tell us at this point,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday during his press conference about the firing of John Farrell. “You can see he threw the ball extremely well. After what happened this year, you always sit on the edge of your seat when things like that happen. But he has seen the top specialists in the country and they told us if he got back to this point, he should be fine for next year. So that’s what our anticipation is that he will be part of our starting rotation next year and be ready to go. “

Pedroia noted on Monday that fixing his painful left knee could mean a lengthy recovery. Pedroia visited a knee specialist in New York on Wednesday, Dombrowski said. Another visit to a specialist in Boston, one Pedroia has previously visited, is scheduled for Thursday.

"Then we'll have to decide what's going to take place at that point,” Dombrowski said. “We want to make sure that most importantly his knee is as good as it can be going forward. I don't know what that's going to [entail] at this point until he sees the doctors and gets those recommendations."

Other medical situations seemingly could result in surgery, but there was no announcement Wednesday.

“Because there are some other people being checked out by doctors and we’ll wait to here what the recommendations are,” Dombrowski said. “There may be some people, but the season just ended so we all need to follow up with doctors.”

How Martinez rose from ashes of Astros release to Red Sox stardom

How Martinez rose from ashes of Astros release to Red Sox stardom

Good things come to those who wait. And while it’s hard to knock the results of the Houston Astros’ “process,” a new piece from Sports Illustrated details how J.D. Martinez has them wishing they waited a little longer.

Coming off an age-25 season that saw him hit just .250 with a .650 OPS, Martinez was desperate to change in 2013. After all, with limited speed and a below-average glove, Martinez’s bat was his livelihood.

“J.D., you’re not even a career .700 OPS hitter,” said then-Astros hitting coach John Mallee. “You don’t steal bags. You’re not a Gold Glover. You have to hit… You can make enough money to live off of, at least until you become too expensive to keep around. But that’s it. Unless you change something.”

After studying perennial All-Stars like Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Braun, Martinez realized his entire swing needed an overhaul, and turned to Astros teammate Jason Castro for advice. Martinez’s journey with Castro is a long one, taking him from Houston to California to Venezuela and, finally, to Kissimmee, Florida, home of the Astros’ Spring Training complex.  

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With a new swing in his toolbox, a revamped enthusiasm and energy, and a desperation to prove himself, all Martinez needed was an opportunity. But the Astros didn't oblige. Houston -- coming off a 111-loss season -- released Martinez after just 18 exhibition at-bats, not even seeking anything in return. Martinez couldn't make the worst team in the league.

Instead of sulking, however, Martinez was motivated -- driven to make the Astros' lack of confidence in his adjustments haunt them.

"You guys are going to see me," Martinez told Houston teammates José Altuve and Dallas Keuchel after being released. "Don't worry about it. I'll be good. I promise you."

Martinez caught on with the Detroit Tigers and the rest, as they say, is history. He used his new swing to slug his way to the top of a myriad of offensive categories and now, four years after being released, there is perhaps no more feared slugger in baseball than Martinez, who has two more home runs (37) than his team has losses (35).

Martinez’s road to the top has been long, but serves as a reminder that in a sport increasingly driven by data, the game is played by humans, and not even the most thorough algorithms can compute a human’s drive to succeed.

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