The Red Sox finally seem to have a clear path for the return of star lefty David Price, who has been working back from an elbow ailment. He’ll make his first rehab start on Sunday at Triple-A, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter links).
It seems the Sox feel that Price has already done much of the preliminary build-up, as he’s scheduled to throw about five innings or 70 to 75 pitches. Assuming things go well, he’ll then look to move up from there in a second outing.
While Red Sox skipper John Farrell made clear that Price will need to make at least two rehab starts, he did suggest it’s possible he won’t need a third. If Price can push up to around 90 pitches in his second outing, he could then be activated for MLB duties, in which case he might be back in Boston before the month is over.
The first stretch of the season hasn’t been perfect for the Red Sox, but they have managed to remain in a decent position despite missing a pitcher who was expected to deliver big value from the front of the rotation. The timing is helpful, too, as Steven Wright was just lost for the rest of the year due to knee surgery.
All things considered, the club has to feel relatively fortunate in Price’s trajectory, given the somewhat worrying signals that were given when his elbow issues first came up. So long as he can return and maintain his health from here on out, at least, this absence will be looked back upon mostly as a blip.
When he does get back on the big league hill, Price will be looking to improve upon a tepid first season with the Sox. After inking a record-setting seven-year, $217MM contract in free agency, Price compiled a 3.99 ERA over 230 innings — his worst single-season earned run average since way back in 2009.