Is there a storm brewing at Fenway Park?
Boston Red Sox have put veteran lefty David Price on the 10-day disabled list and have blamed it on a recurring elbow problem that have nudged the Cy Young awardee at the start of the season.
Team manager John Farrell said Price had elbow discomforts before his last scheduled start and an MRI revealed inflammation.
But there are rumors that team officials are punishing the pitcher for his current demeanor against the media, particularly Hall of Fame pitcher and now television alayst Dennis Eckersley last month.
Price reportedly berated the HOFer in the team plane for the latter’s comments on Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who had poor outings in his rehab assignment in Double A ball.
Farrell and team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski have denied the rumor, saying Price’s injury is serious and they are considering limiting his innings so they can keep him fresh later in the season when the playoff race gets tighter.
“If he [Price] was physically healthy, he’d be pitching. He’s not,” said Farrell.
“You cannot put a guy on the disabled list unless you get medical clearance from the commissioner’s office,” said Dombrowski. “The commissioner’s office checks, gets the doctor’s report. You have to send a doctor’s certification and all that.”
Price missed a huge chunk of the start of the season because of an injury the pitcher called a “torn elbow” but has been excellent in his return.
The 31-year-old former Tampa Bay lefty is 5-3 in 11 starts, with an ERA of 3.82. He has 63 strikeouts in 66 innings.
Despite his struggle to get healthy this year Boston are still hopeful he can return to the workhorse he was before the elbow discomforts.
“We’re not going to go out and make a big trade for a starting pitcher,” added Dombrowski. “We’re still hopeful that David will be back.”
Price has been an innings eater in his career, pitching a league-best 230 innings in 35 starts last season, following his 220.1 inning, 32-start season in 2015. In 2014, Price had a career-high 248.1 innings pitched in 34 starts.