Tonight was David Price’s second rehab start with the Paw Sox against Louisville. As expected, it was not quite pre-injury David Price material. But what was surprising is that this performance was actually worse off than last time.
Unless the third time’s the charm, there’s more work that must be done before Price can eventually come back. He surrendered seven hits and three earned runs in four innings of work, with a couple of walks in the mix.
On the bright side, Price went four innings this time and was throwing mid-90s heat just below his average. Price did get his wish of pitching four innings rather than three, and while he probably had to pull strings, he shows that he still wants the ball.
With another start making lateral progress, it still looks a June return is improbable. In fact, it’s looking like he can’t come back until after the All-Star Break if that. (Rest assured, we’ll get the latest from John Farrell, M.D.).
While again, a rehab start doesn’t have to be a gem, giving up three runs in such a short start after three runs in the last game is in no way encouraging.
The real (or fake) story is what Price did after his short start. A handful of Red Sox writers down on the farm, such as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, reported that Price hightailed it out of the stadium after agreeing to a post-start interview, then declaring he was “out”.
If we’re assuming all this is true, it’s another example of Price’s cowardice in his handling the Boston media.
If it was framed (no pun intended) by the writers who were there tonight, then it’s not out of character for pro athletes to cut the post-game circus short and go home.
albatross whale of a contract and Price’s ineffectiveness in his time here, it’s not unfair to suggest the media’s put a target on his head.
But you know what? It’s not smart for Price to play games with these people, because it’s only going to get worse than before.
I’m hoping this story isn’t true because he has a great deal of trust to build with the team and fanbase if he wants to be back to his old self.
If for no other reason, he should answer all the snarky questions the media gives him, since the pain of answering a bunch of jerks with microphones is probably a fraction of what his arm is feeling right now.
He’s maintained that he feels good over and over, even using his Twitter as a literal DO NOT DISTURB sign for the press on April 25th. It’s understood that it takes a great deal of time to recover from an injury of Price’s severity, but some forward progress would be greatly appreciated, given the Red Sox are stuck with a four-man rotation at the moment.
Missing out on an ace pitcher is going to leave a big hole, but the Red Sox were built for this season by Dave Dombrowski to take as much pressure off David Price as possible, adding a new ace in his place just in case Rick Porcello had a Cy Young hangover. This is one criticism of the team that isn’t David Price’s fault, and I will say he’s already become the scapegoat for Boston’s mediocre start to the season. (“They wouldn’t be stuck at .500 with Price healthy!” redirects here.)
After all, the expectation was that both Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg would be ready to go by about this time in the season, and they’re still on the shelf with Price. My rant from Sunday goes into more detail about this.
Price is in a difficult position where he’s the scapegoat, the team is really missing him, and he’s playing like he’s months away from returning to the Red Sox.
Despite all of this, he won’t talk to the media because he didn’t pitch as well as he wanted. While I wish the Boston media would treat Price a little more fairly, in no way do I feel bad for him.
Blowing off the media like that is just an invitation for people to think you’re unwilling to own up to criticism, even if that’s not true at all. All that nonsense aside, we all hope for a speedy recovery. If he needs guidance, he should get close with Chris Sale.
All signs point to another rehab start, and that means he won’t pitch for Boston against the White Sox on May 30th.
EDIT 5/25: David Price is scheduled to start Monday, May 30th against the White Sox.