Last week Red Sox fans around the world held their breath as news about David Price’s elbow spread around the league like wildfire. Price was scratched from his scheduled spring training start on Sunday due to tightness in his elbow and forearm. He was immediately sent for an MRI where his results came back inconclusive. Following the MRI, Price headed up to Indianapolis to visit every pitcher’s worst nightmare, Dr. James Andrews.
To everybody’s surprise, Price came back from his trip to Indianapolis with a smile on his face. Price stated that the trip “couldn’t have went any better.” The diagnosis on his elbow only requires 7-10 days of rest, but more importantly no surgery or injections were necessary. Dr. James Andrews is one of the most renowned surgeons in all of sports, so I believe that Price may be alright for now. What terrifies me is that since 2012, 35 pitchers have visited Dr. Andrews. Of the 35, 28 needed season ending Tommy John surgery. Out of the 7 that didn’t need surgery, 6 ended up having season ending injuries. The odds are not looking so bright for our $30 million pitcher.
Price stated that he has experienced elbow discomfort in the past but this time it was “a little bit more stiff” than previous years. Price has had an amazing track record for staying healthy over the course of his career. The lefty has made at least 27 starts in 7 straight seasons and has tallied over 200 innings in 6 of those 7 seasons. Remarkably enough, Price even said the doctors were really impressed with his elbow saying that “it kind of heals itself.” Price is no longer 25 years old. Now entering his 30s, the Red Sox need to monitor his innings and usage throughout the season.
Price will be itching to get out there on the mound again, but the Red Sox need to be careful. Even though his arm is okay for now, it may not be for long. Price is the type of guy who needs to be at his peak medically in order to perform to the best of his ability. He is a routine machine. Everything needs to be done the same way, from his pregame rituals to his recovery methods. Many athletes are like this and if something gets in the way to interrupt their routine, then all hell can break loose.
For now it is an encouraging sign that Price should be out toeing the rubber every fifth day, but don’t get your hopes up. An impeding catastrophe is in the works and unfortunately, Red Sox fans are not going to like it. My advice to the Red Sox would be to take it slow. The sox have enough arms to get through the first month without Price. There is no need to rush him back. Make sure he is healthy and ready for a playoff run. I know Price feels as if he needs to prove himself this year, but he won’t be able to prove anything when he’s sitting back watching the team without him.