Attitude aside, if David Price can stay healthy and pitch well, the Red Sox are in good shape. He could add that vital power arm the Red Sox have been yearning for all year and we can finally see that Big Three we’ve wanted in the rotation. David Price’s return could be better than any mid-season trade the Red Sox could’ve made.
First and foremost, we still have to worry about Price’s health. The injury he sustained almost always leads to Tommy John surgery. The fact that it didn’t lead to that diagnosis is nothing short of a miracle. Also, he’s 31 years old. The older these guys get, the harder it is to come back from these kinds of injuries. Also, the weather in New England has been absolutely miserable this month. Arctic temperatures and poor weather never helps a guy whose arm isn’t 100%. It is no guarantee Price can finish out this season without any problems.
Price also still needs to bounce back from some disappointing stretches last year. As I’ve said before, he didn’t have a bad year necessarily. It was just underwhelming. Now, he is clearly not the ace of the staff like was asked to be last year. With Price having the mental toughness of a middle schooler, taking that pressure off him could be huge. With the dominance of Chris Sale thus far, Price can become a great complimentary pitcher. That’s what $217 million will get you these days.
Not to be lost in this, Price was good in his return. Good enough anyway. He went five innings and gave up three runs on just two hits. Not to sound like Clay Buchholz, but his one bad inning was very preventable. He laid a meatball over the plate to Melky Cabrera for a 3-run homer and that was it. He did have some issues with his control, however. The two guys on base there were both walked and Price was constantly losing hitters when ahead in the count.
Physically, he looked good. He couldn’t common his cutter but his fastball was hitting 95-96 MPH. We’ll see if that comes back to bite him, but he was efficient for a guy coming off an injury like that. He hit his 90 pitch limit in those five innings but wasn’t too stressed. Cabrera’s home run was the only time there was more than one White Sock on base against him.
Overall, Price was impressive. If he can hold up, even after back to back losses, this could be huge for Boston. Price gave them a chance to win yesterday before Matt Barnes blew it. This could prevent the Red Sox from making an ill-advised trade for a starter this summer. Again, David Price’s return could be a mid-season acquisition that can propel the Red Sox towards the playoffs again.