David Price Likely to Start Season on DL as He Recovers from Arm Injury

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2017

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price throws a live batting session at a spring training baseball workout in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox will likely start the 2017 MLB season with David Price on the disabled list because of an elbow injury that has prevented him from pitching in spring training.   

Per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Tuesday it's safe to assume Price won't be with the team when it opens the season April 3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I think at this point, yeah, it'd be hard to see him ready to go at the start of the season," Farrell said. "You know, we really won't have any kind of idea until he gets on the mound the first time. And right now, I don’t know when that's gonna be."    

Price had an MRI taken on his left arm March 2 after telling the Red Sox coaching staff about pain in his forearm and elbow.

"He has had it in the past, and he said it's not significantly different," Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski told reporters.

After receiving a second opinion when the initial MRI results were inconclusive, it was determined surgery wasn't necessary, and Price was shut down for seven to 10 days, per Rob Bradford of WEEI.

Farrell addressed Price's recovery and potential timetable to return Tuesday:

Played catch again today as he’s been the last three days. And everyone's gonna want to know, what's the next step? What's the next phase? I will tell you, this is gonna be dependent upon how David goes through the morning rehab and the exercises that he goes through, what he feels he's capable of that day, within reason. We're at a 60-foot phase right now, but we don't have (instructions) that there needs to be X number of sessions at 60 feet and then we're going to progress.

The 31-year-old Price is entering his second season with the Red Sox after signing a seven-year contract last offseason. He rebounded from a slow start in 2016 to finish with a 3.99 ERA and 228 strikeouts in 230 innings, his third straight season with at least 220 innings.

The Red Sox are fortunate to have reigning American League Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and Chris Sale at the top of their rotation, making it easier for the team to absorb Price's absence for the time being.

If the Red Sox want to reach their full ceiling in 2017 and repeat as American League East champions, having Price as close to 100 percent as possible for most of the season is the easiest way to achieve it.