The 2017 Boston Red Sox were set to take the league by storm. A revamped rotation was going to carry them to an American League East Crown and then past the Cleveland Indians for the American League title. A 1-2-3 of Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello would have rivaled, and likely bested, any other front three in the majors. As the saying goes, however, “the best laid plans…” et cetera, et cetera.
David Price Injury brings Uncertainty to Boston
In that vein, the Red Sox got some harrowing news on Thursday. Just prior to making first start of Spring Training, Price experienced soreness in his forearm and was scratched as a precaution. One MRI later, and Price is now seeking a second opinion from the Doctor Doom of professional sports, Dr. James Andrews. That almost never means anything good.
Forearm soreness, MRI and second opinion is baseball’s version of the Axis of Evil. Red Sox are not optimistic about David Price’s elbow.
A Rocky Beginning
After being signed to a massive contract, Price got off to a rough start to his tenure on Yawkey Way. At times, he was brilliant. At others, he looked simply ordinary. When all was said and done, he came out of his first campaign for Boston with a 3.99 ERA, 17 wins, and 228 strikeouts. Much like his season, his stats were both good and bad.
In the playoffs, however, there was no good to speak of. As usual, Price crumbled. All season long, throughout the ups and downs, Price unwaveringly stated his intention to earn the love of the people of Boston. After his playoff performance, when the media turned on him again, he had no choice but to wait until 2017 to prove himself.
Other players had done the same in their second years with Boston. Most recently, Hanley Ramirez and Porcello both redeemed themselves with strong second tours. Price was set to be the next in that line. As part of the three-headed monster leading the Red Sox rotation, he could have been part of something special. Now, that is in serious jeopardy.
The most obvious result of a serious injury to Price would, of course, be losing Price for the season. Despite his less-than-stellar first go-around, he remains one of the most talented pitchers in the league. His absence for the entire season would be devastating.
Beyond that, Boston’s starting pitching was set to not only be an area of strength, but one of great depth. With the front three set, it would have come down to Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Drew Pomeranz to battle for the final two spots. The odd man out would have served as the long man out of the bullpen and insurance in case of injury. Now, it looks like the Red Sox will have to use that insurance policy much earlier than they would have liked.
If Price is out for an extended period, or has to miss the season, that would mean that Wright, Rodriquez, and Pomeranz would all have rotation spots. While all three had good moments in the 2016 regular season, and Wright was brilliant in the first half, all three also had rough moments. More importantly, all three are also recovering from injuries of their own. Their readiness for Opening Day remains an uncertainty. In addition, the bullpen could now lose a high-quality long reliever.
Perhaps Dr. Andrews will give Red Sox Nation some good news. At this point, however, that seems far from likely.