In an ideal world, David Price was going to make his rehab start with Pawtucket this weekend and prove to everyone that he was ready for major-league action again. Unfortunately, he pitched only two very long innings and was lifted due to the effort involved in each frame after just 65 pitches. By all accounts, his velocity was fine and there were no health setbacks, but the Red Sox still want to see more before they trust the lefty with a major-league role. So, they’ll be sending him back to Pawtucket’s mound on Wednesday for another rehab start.
David Price will pitch for AAA Pawtucket again on Wednesday. Farrell spoke to Price this morning and they agreed that was best.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) May 20, 2017
While this is obviously disappointing, it makes sense for the Red Sox. They don’t just want Price for right now. They need him to be healthy and effective for the entire season. Having him may one fewer start in May is preferable than him missing a string of starts in August or September. The organization smartly wants to see him get through a whole start in which he gets up and down at least four or five times before they send him back out against major-league lineups.
The downside here, of course, is that the Red Sox will need at least one more spot start from their depth options. Last time out for Hector Velazquez didn’t go well, to say the least. The former Mexican League star is still on the active roster, but that obviously doesn’t need to remain the case. If they decide to give someone else a shot, the obvious choice is Brian Johnson. The lefty was fine in his previous major-league start this season, and has been pitching relatively well of late against Triple-A competition. He is actually pitching as I write this, so he could be pushed back a few days if they wanted his next start to be in Boston.
In the end, this news is expected, slightly disappointing and ultimately smart, all at the same time. While we wait for Price, who do you think should get the next spot start?