BOSTON -- Scott Atchison knew as soon as he woke up the morning after his rehab outing Friday night with Triple-A Pawtucket that something was wrong with his elbow. It was more than the forearm tightness that had him on the disabled list since July 14.The right-hander had an MRI done, which revealed a tear in his elbow, and will now travel to Pensacola, Fla., to meet with Dr. James Andrews Monday morning for a second opinion.Its a matter of how severe the tear is and what my options are as far as what I do, he said. Obviously, I know a couple of them. Everybody knows Tommy Johns obviously missing a year. But see what he has to say and then go from there.Hes braced himself for the worst news, which would be that he needs Tommy John surgery.I think before the MRI even happened I was kind of prepping for the fact that I was probably, the news wasnt going to be maybe what I wanted to hear, Atchison said. But as far as for the surgery, if thats what I need and thats what we feel is the best route and the only option, then Ill do it. Ive been through a shoulder surgery. Its been 15 years but I put everything into and thats the only way I know to do something and hopefully get back and be the same guy that I was before.Atchison, who has a record of 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 37 games spanning 46 innings this season, said the elbow injury didnt happen on one pitch. It was more a gradual process.I cant go back to one pitch, he said. And thats kind of what the Red Sox doctor told me just going off what he was reading on the MRI it looked more like a gradual. It didn't look like something just popped right on one pitch, that it was kind of over time. Ive thrown a lot of pitches, so its understandable I guess.He essentially gave me what he felt like were three options: surgery, rest, and theres another procedure, Im not sure exactly what its about. But he recommend going ahead and seeing either Andrews or Dr. Lewis Yocum or seeing someone else. Just those guys are not that he wasnt confident in his analysis of it but hes never done Tommy John he told me. So he said, Go ahead and go. Id recommend you see one of those guys that have done obviously lots of them. Which I agree with. Go down there, lets see what they have to say and then discuss it with the Red Sox and figure out what the next step is.Atchison, who turned 36 in March, was originally drafted by the Mariners in the 36th round in 1994. He is in his third season with the Sox. Atchison wasnt really surprised to learn he had a tear in his elbow.I figured there was probably some kind of tear at this point in my career, he said. But obviously its common for evyeboyd to have a little bit of something in there, I think. Thats maybe part of the reason we didnt do the MRI right away the first time it happened. Because I was feeling better and progressed with it. And afraid if you look at something maybe youll see something and thats not the cause of the problem. But when it felt the way I did the day after I threw the other day, I thought something else might be going on because it just didnt seem the way it should for having pitched even just a little sore.Im going to kind of reserve till I hear everything on Monday. Then Ill worry about the rest of it. But its a little disappointing. But hopefully maybe theyll look at it different or maybe well do another one or whatever and see something else and theres another option or something. Well see.
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins . . .
1) David Price isn’t having fun
Boston’s $217 million-dollar arm had another rough outing -- this time against a team that already has 60 losses.
Those are the team’s he’s supposed to dominate.
“It’s been terrible,” Price said on how his season has gone following the loss. “Just awful.”
Price’s mistakes have often been credited to mechanical mishaps this year. Farrell mentioned that following his start in New York, Price spent time working on getting more of a downhill trajectory on his pitches.
But Price doesn’t think his issue is physical.
So it must be mental -- but he doesn’t feel that’s the case either.
“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said when asked which he thought was a factor. “It’s me going out there and making pitches. “
But when it comes down to the barebones, pitching -- much like anything else -- is a physical and mental act.
So when he says it’s neither, that’s almost impossible. It could be both, but it has to be one.
His mind could be racing out on the mound from a manifestation of the issues he’s had throughout the season.
Or it could just be that his fastball isn’t changing planes consistently, like Farrell mentioned.
Both could be possible too, but it takes a certain type of physical approach and mental approach to pitch -- and Price needs to figure out which one is the issue, or how to address both.
2) Sandy Leon might be coming back to Earth
Over his last five games, Boston’s new leading catcher is hitting .176 (3-for-17), dropping his average to .395.
A couple things have to be understood. His average is still impressive. In the five games prior to this dry spell, Leon went 7-for-19 (.368) But -- much like Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Leon hasn’t been known for his offensive output throughout his career. So dry spells are always tests of how he can respond to adversity and make necessary adjustments quickly.
Furthermore, if he’s not so much falling into a funk as opposed to becoming the real Sandy Leon -- what is Boston getting?
Is his run going to be remembered as an exciting run that lasted much longer than anyone expected? Or if he going to show he’s a legitimate hitter that can hit at least -.260 to .280 with a little pop from the bottom of the line-up?
What’s more, if he turns back into the Sandy Leon he’s been throughout his career, the Red Sox will have an interesting dilemma on how to handle the catching situation once again.
3) Heath Hembree has lost the momentum he gained after being called up.
Following Saturday’s contest, the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after an outing where he went 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits -- and allowing some inherited runners to score.
Hembree at one point was the savior of the bullpen, stretching his arm out over three innings at a time to bail out the scuffling Red Sox starting rotation that abused it’s bullpen.
His ERA is still only 2.41 -- and this has been the most he’s ever pitched that big league level -- but the Red Sox have seen a change in him since the All-Star break.
Which makes sense, given that hitters have seven hits and two walks against him in his 1.1 innings of work -- spanning four games since the break.
“He’s not confident pitcher right now,” John Farrell said about Hembree before announcing his demotion. “As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year -- and really in the whole first half -- the four times out since the break have been the other side of that.”
Joe Kelly will be the pitcher to replace Hembree and Farrell hopes to be able to stretch him out over multiple innings at a time, as well.
John Farrell discusses the struggles of David Price, as Red Sox lose to the Twins, 11-9.
Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins:
* “It’s been terrible . . . Just awful.” Price on how his season has gone.
* “Tough night from the mound -- obviously.” John Farrell on Red Sox pitching in the loss.
* “Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those. It’s me going out there and making pitches. It’s what I’ve done for a long time now -- and I haven’t done this year. That’s why this year’s been the way it has been.” Price said when he was asked if he felt his problems boiled down to physical or mental issues.
* “Given that [we] had to stay away from [Matt] Barnes and [Junichi] Tazawa today, [Clay Buchholz] was a guy that was going to be needed to hopefully multiple inning to bridge us to where were able to match up a little bit more in the eighth inning to get to Ziegler. Unfortunately it didn’t happen.” Farrell said on why he turned to Buchholz -- not Barnes – despite having the lead.
* “It was crazy. When the fly ball [went] into the sky it turned into like a twister of some sort and you didn’t know where the ball was going to fall. I’ve never seen anything like that before.” Michael Martinez on dealing with the howling wind in right field.
* “It wasn’t much wind. I went and looked at it, definitely should have made the play. Just running at it full speed -- it was one of those things I didn’t know how close I was getting to the wall so I went into a slide. And it was an early slide, so it kind of threw me off a little bit . . . Just thought I was closer to the wall than I really was.” Brock Holt on the fly ball he misplayed.
* Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked in two runs, becoming the fourth Red Sox hitter to reach the 60 RBI mark this season -- the most in the MLB. Bradley also had a double, marking is 46th extra-base hit of the season -- with 99 hits overall.
* Dustin Pedroia reached base for the 26th consecutive game with his double in the second inning. He has a .402 OBP during this stretch and a .311 average.
* The Red Sox have lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month (6/26-27). Both losses were comeback victories for Minnesota. Boston’s record drops to 3-3 against the 37-60 Twins this season.
1) Eddie Rosario
Rosario finished 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored, bumping his average from .244 to .262.
2) David Ortiz
Ortiz finished 3-for-3 with a walk, double, two RBI and two runs scored -- giving Boston just about as much offense as anyone can hope for.
3) Miguel Sano
The burly Twins third baseman finished 3-for-5 with a long ball, two runs scored, a walk and an RBI in Minnesota’s win.
Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar