Pete Abraham: David Price ‘Very Optimistic’ Tommy John Surgery Not Needed

BOSTON (CBS) — David Price is having his left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews, a meeting that often leads to Tommy John surgery for pitchers. But the usually durable Red Sox starter still feels good about his chances of ultimately avoiding the procedure.

The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to talk about the latest with Price’s situation. The news of Price’s meeting with Dr. Andrews, who is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, is ominous – but Abraham says that Price and his representatives aren’t as worried as you may think.

“I was told that Price is very optimistic, and [manager John] Farrell said the same thing, and Price’s people seem like they’re very optimistic,” said Abraham. “But I’ve heard this before with other guys and then it turns out to be surgery, so I guess we’ll see what happens.”

Price, 30, has long been one of the most durable pitchers in baseball and has never had major surgery performed on his elbow. But that could mean that some kind of procedure would be inevitable. Abraham disputed that notion, pointing to Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina as examples of pitchers who played for a long time without ever needing Tommy John surgery.

“There’s other guys who have been used an awful lot and they didn’t necessarily have Tommy John surgery, so I don’t know if it’s inevitable,” said Abraham. “[Price] is a guy who’s got a pretty clean delivery. It’s certainly not violent and a max-effort kind of thing. … It wasn’t like there was any sign of anything.”

Among the positives at Red Sox spring training so far is third baseman Pablo Sandoval, whom Abraham said looks capable of producing adequately at the hot corner in 2017. That alone would be an upgrade over last season’s crop of third basemen.

“Sandoval looks like a guy who could at least play,” said Abraham. “I don’t know that he’s ever going to be what he was with the San Francisco Giants. But he’s playing third base at, at least, an acceptable major league level. He’s hit the ball pretty well … so he looks like a guy who could at least be a decent major league third baseman, which is something they didn’t have last year from anybody.”

Abraham also talked about the idea that the Red Sox would “miss” Clay Buchholz in the wake of the Price injury, as well as the emergence of Hanley Ramirez as a clubhouse leader. Listen to the full podcast below:

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