BOSTON — The Red Sox put forth some optimism about David Price’s elbow while maintaining the wall of secrecy around the lefty’s health that’s been in place since spring training.
Price, who wound up on the disabled list Friday instead of the Fenway Park mound as previously scheduled, could play catch as soon as Monday or Tuesday, manager John Farrell said. Officially, Price has left elbow inflammation.
“I don't think this is anything compared to what he went through in spring training in terms of severity,” Farrell said Friday afternoon. “Much less. That’s by his own admission.”
That’s good news.
So, is the ulnar collateral ligament the root problem? Is the issue more muscular, perhaps with the forearm? It’s unclear. It was unclear in March, too, when Price went to visit a pair of surgeons at the NFL combine and was told he didn’t need surgery, but may have required an operation were he younger. (What operation? The Sox and Price never said.)
Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said “elbow” and “forearm” could be used interchangeably. Price said in spring that he has a “unique” elbow.
Dombrowski at one point in his press conference gestured toward his own forearm when talking about the location of Price’s injury, and noted Price is hurting in a different place than he was previously
“I didn’t hear anything right after his last start [Saturday in Anaheim],” Dombrowski said. “We were in Seattle. I remember there was a lot going on there in Seattle, trade conversations. I arrived to the ballpark later on Tuesday. They told me he was a little bit uncomfortable in his elbow.
“Not the same area where he was hurt before. It was a situation where, well, let’s see what happens the next day, how he felt. The next day he felt about the same. At that point, what we decided to do was to get an MRI first thing Thursday morning, which he did when he got back. That’s where we decided to put him on the disabled list.”
Dombrowski said there were no present plans for Price to travel to visit another doctor for a second opinion, but made it sound like Price may have other doctors look at the imaging that’s already been done.
Price did not speak to the media on Friday afternoon. Both Farrell and Dombrowski were firm that Price was not on the disabled list to avoid the Fenway Park fans and any negative reaction to the Dennis Eckersley incident. Price hasn’t pitched at home since the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy detailed Price’s encounter with Eckersley on a team flight.
Doug Fister is to take Price’s spot in the rotation for now, Dombrowski said.