Sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney that Price underwent an MRI on his pitching elbow Thursday. Price is experiencing similar tightness in his elbow to what he felt in spring training, a source told ESPN’s Scott Lauber. It is unclear when the symptoms resurfaced.
Price’s DL move is retroactive to Tuesday.
Price was 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 starts since returning May 29 from the elbow issue that cropped up in late February. Price underwent an MRI at that time and even flew to the NFL combine in Indianapolis to get second opinions from prominent orthopedic surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The injury was termed a strained flexor mass in Price’s forearm, although he referred to it as a “torn elbow” after a July 4 start in Texas.
Since his return to the mound, Price had sparred with the media, including a much-publicized incident in which he lashed out at Hall of Fame pitcher and current TV analyst Dennis Eckersley on the team plane June 29.
Price mocked Eckersley and cursed at him multiple times during the confrontation, according to a report published Sunday by The Boston Globe that provided previously unreported details about the altercation.
Red Sox weren’t in market for a starting pitcher, but worth wondering if David Price’s injury will change that. Still time before Monday’s trade deadline, but diminished farm system doesn’t leave Boston well-positioned to jump into derby for Sonny Gray or other top available starters.
The pitcher was reported to be annoyed at a comment made by Eckersley during the NESN broadcast of Boston’s game against Minnesota earlier that day, when Eckersley said “Yuck” shortly after NESN showed Eduardo Rodriguez‘s subpar pitching statistics from a rehab outing with Double-A Portland.
For the past six weeks, Price hasn’t conducted one-on-one interviews with the media and has limited his comments to the days he pitches. He also hasn’t issued an apology to Eckersley. Asked about the incident, Price said after a July 4 start, “Standing up for my teammates. Whatever crap I catch for that, I’m fine with it.”
Friday’s start against the red-hot Kansas City Royals was supposed to have been Price’s first since the Globe report was published Sunday. The Red Sox enter the three-game series with a half-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East.
Rick Porcello will take the start Friday against the Royals.
Left-handed pitcher Robby Scott was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Price’s place on the 25-man roster. Scott has a 3.75 ERA in 38 relief appearances for the Red Sox this season.