CBS Boston – David Price is off of the disabled list and heading to the Boston bullpen.
The Red Sox activated the 32-year-old lefty on Thursday after a seven-week stay on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. He threw a three-inning simulated game at Fenway Park on Wednesday, and Boston manager John Farrell hopes to have Price available out of the bullpen on Sunday or Monday.
David Price hasn’t made an appearance out of the bullpen in a regular season game since 2010, but the bullpen is actually where he’s found most of his success in the postseason. Price’s postseason woes are well known, but he’s actually been pretty good out of the bullpen in October. Both of his playoff wins were out of the bullpen.
Price pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 2008 and was 1-0 with a save in five appearances. He posted a 1.59 ERA over 5.2 innings, struck out 8 of the 24 batters he faced, and allowed just two hits. His sole relief appearance as a Blue Jay in 2015 against the Rangers wasn’t as impressive, but he did manage to get a win out of it.
It’ll be interesting to see how John Farrell chooses to use Price going forward. Will he be used a lefty specialist, as an eighth-inning guy, or a as a general fireman? Also interesting to see will be Price’s reaction to being placed in the bullpen. I know he’s coming back from an injury and has to work his arm strength back up, which is difficult to do this late in the season, but it still feels like a demotion. Even after his rough outing last night, I’d still rather give the ball to Doug Fister in game three or four of the playoffs than David Price.
Regardless of what happens down the stretch, it’s hard not view year two of David Price in Boston as a disappointment. A strong late-season run would help make this deal look less like the Pablo Sandoval disaster, but this is not the guy the Red Sox thought they were getting. The Red Sox thought they were getting a guy who could drive the bus, not a guy who would yell at the team broadcaster on the bus.