BOSTON -- It’s unlikely David Price will pitch in consecutive games in the regular season, and it doesn’t sound like manager John Farrell feels Price needs to do so in the postseason, either.
Nothing is ruled out, however.
“Initially it would be multi-innings,” Farrell said of Price's postseason role. “But if there was an outing in which it was one inning -- that’s not to limit the fact if he felt physically fine the next day, we could possibly use him. But in this final week, it's not an item that’s got to be checked, to get him on back-to-back days.”
Farrell said Price can already be used with fewer than four days rest, which is the interval starting pitchers use and is also the amount of rest Price had between his two appearances. Farrell said Price ideally would be used with fewer than four days rest some time this week.
“And you know what, he was available two days after he pitches two innings in Tampa,” Farrell said. “He pitched two innings in Tampa [on Sept. 17], was going to be a minimum of two days down. He was ready to pitch on Wednesday [on Sept. 19] in Baltimore. We got a one-sided game [that day], off-day Thursday. So yeah, I can tell you this right now, he’s ready for a better frequency than four days.”
Yet, at the same time, Price is likely going to have at least three days rest before his next outing. Farrell said he wants to stay away from him Monday.
Farrell said Price's role is usage-dependent.
“Likely wouldn't go to him tonight for another day of rest after 40 pitches [Friday]," Farrell said. "We would only pitch him back to back if there was an outing in which it was 12 pitches or less, and he was available the next night. But I think in the two outings in which he’s pitched, that's probably more the role that I envision.
“Not to say that couldn't change going forward, but that was a big 2 2/3 innings the other night. It bridged the gap to Addison [Reed] and then to Craig [Kimbrel].”
Farrell on Monday noted that “Price has kind of allowed that bullpen to kind of fall in line a little bit more consistently.” Yet, if Price can’t pitch on consecutive days, that leaves open a question of how things go without Price available in the postseason.
Could the Sox get more out of Price if they pitch him in Games 2 and 3 of the Division Series, with one off-day in between for travel, rather than using him in Game 1?
Maybe that’s the thinking. Because ideally, the Sox wouldn’t need Price for much length in a game Chris Sale starts, and Sale’s obviously going to be the Game 1 starter.