Time is running out for David Price to return to the Red Sox, and manager John Farrell conceded today that it would be “aggressive” to bring Price back as a starting pitcher in 2017, Evan Drellich of CSN New England writes. Farrell suggested that Price would require at least one more simulated game before being ready to start. The skipper alluded to the possibility of giving Price a fairly short start and allowing the expanded bullpen to cover whatever innings are needed beyond that point, though he noted that no decision has been made. “[T]hese are things we have to sit down and discuss and determine what’s best for him.” As for Price himself, he told reporters that, more than anything else, he just wants to get back onto a Major League mound regardless of his role: “I just want to pitch. Whatever it is, that’s fine.”
A bit more from the American League…
- Astros righty Lance McCullers was scratched from tonight’s game due to arm fatigue, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart writes. His inability to go has already proven costly, as the Angels jumped onto spot starter Mike Fiers for five runs in the first inning. McCullers indicated that he feels “fine” and the decision wasn’t his, and manager A.J. Hinch told reporters that he’s not overly concerned about McCullers’ health. Houston has the division all but clinched even with some recent struggles, but obviously any uncertainty surrounding McCullers’ health with the postseason looming would be an ominous sign for the eventual AL West champs.
- Miguel Sano’s return from a stress reaction in his left shin has been slow to progress, though the Twins slugger did some running drills Monday and took batting practice Tuesday, as Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes. If and when Sano is ready to return — which could come in the next week, per Graff — it’s likely that he’ll be back in the lineup as the designated hitter. Manager Paul Molitor told reporters that he’s more concerned about the absence of Sano’s bat from the lineup than he is about his ability to return to the hot corner. The Twins are 11-10 in Sano’s absence, Graff points out, though certainly the Twins must be eager for the return of Sano’s .267/.356/.514 batting line and 28 homers as they look to hang onto the American League’s second Wild Card slot.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter tells Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun that he’s spoken at length with pitching coach Roger McDowell to develop a plan for young right-hander Miguel Castro. While Castro has delivered solid run-prevention numbers in a multi-inning relief role, Showalter acknowledged that there’s been “a lot” of thought put into the possibility of Castro starting. “Like all of young pitchers, they are precious commodities and we want to make good decisions about them,” said Showalter. “Because we don’t have many to pick from right now.” Since a scoreless six-inning relief appearance on Aug. 3, Castro has posted a pristine 2.37 ERA through 30 1/3 innings. He’s limited opponents to a meager 18.8 percent hard-contact rate in that time but has also logged an ugly 19-to-15 K/BB ratio.