By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Even after taking a sharp liner off his left wrist, David Price is confident he’ll make his next start for the Boston Red Sox.
The team may have other plans, though.
Price showed off some ninja-like reflexes, but had to leave his Wednesday night start against the Miami Marlins following the third inning after he deflected a 102 mph liner off the bat of Austin Dean with his left wrist. The ball was heading toward Price’s head, so it was a nice move by the lefty to get his wrist up in time to avoid anything more serious. And he deserves even more credit for having the wherewithal to cover first base to get the final out of the inning after the ball ricocheted off his wrist to first baseman Steve Pearce.
“I put my hand up as a reaction so it didn’t hit me in the face,” Price told reporters after Boston’s 14-6 victory. “It went to Pearce, so then I ran over to first base to cover first. Pearce threw it. I knew it hit me flush and it caught bone. I knew it was hit hard. I knew it went to my left, so I wanted to get that out.”
Price’s night was over after the scare. The good news is X-Rays came back negative, but further testing will be done as needed. Price said he’s taking a day-by-day approach, but sounded optimistic that he’ll make his next scheduled start Monday afternoon against the Braves in Atlanta.
“I’m hitting Monday. I’ll be ready,” Price said. “If it feels good enough to put a ball in it, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll just take it day by day.”
But playing in a National League park, which would put Price in the Boston lineup, may mean the Red Sox give the lefty and his wrist a few extra days to recover.
“We talked about it,” manager Alex Cora said about potentially pushing Price back. “We haven’t talked to David about it. We’ll sit down and go from there. His next start is in Atlanta, so the swinging part of it is never good. He understands where we’re at and what we need from him.”
Given the current state of their rotation, it’s probably in Boston’s best interest to hold Price back and make sure he’s 100 percent (or as close as he can be) the next time he toes the rubber. Ace Chris Sale is already on the shelf with shoulder inflammation, and the last thing the Red Sox need heading into the playoffs is a pair of injured starters at the front of their rotation. Boston would be wise to approach Price’s wrist the same way they’ve approached Sale’s shoulder, which can be simply be termed as “overly cautious.”
The team also has some extra wiggle room to work with when it comes to Price. Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to return to the Boston rotation on Saturday against the Chicago White Sox, the same day MLB rosters balloon from 25 players to 40. With some extra arms at his disposal, Cora will have the luxury of skipping Price during Boston’s three-game set at Atlanta and have him fresh for next week’s gigantic series against the Houston Astros.
Price may be eager to make his next start, but a cautious approach is the smartest approach for him and the Red Sox.