When Boston Red Sox starter David Price receives a second opinion on his sore left elbow from the notorious Dr. James Andrews in Indianapolis over the weekend, Yankees’ southpaw CC Sabathia will be hoping to hear some good news from one of his close friends.
“It’s always concerning when you have to get a second opinion and see a doctor. And he’s got to miss a start,” Sabathia told NJ Advance Media at the George M. Steinbrenner complex on Thursday. “But it’s early. He can still catch back up if he’s healthy. I haven’t talked to him. I just heard about it on the way so I haven’t really read anything and I don’t now what the deal is and I’ll give him a text to see what’s happening and wish him the best.”
Price underwent an MRI on Wednesday after experiencing discomfort in his arm during a simulated game on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters on Thursday morning that the 31-year-old left-hander will miss his next scheduled start, which was slated for Sunday afternoon against the Braves.
“We’re concerned,” Farrell said of Price’s status to ESPN. “We’re taking every precaution. He feels improved today over yesterday, so that’s an encouraging sign. But still, we have to take every step along the way to get our arms around this in its entirety.”
Last winter, Price was handed $217 million in a seven-year deal with the Red Sox, but his first season in Boston came with inconsistent numbers. Despite finishing with an American League-leading 230 innings pitched and 17-9 record, Price’s 3.99 ERA was the highest of his career since his rookie season in 2009 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays (4.42).
Right-hander Rick Porcello turned out to be the ace of the Red Sox staff in 2016, as the 28-year-old won the AL Cy Young award with a 22-4 record and 3.15 ERA. To further bolster their rotation, Boston won the sweepstakes for Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale this offseason, in a blockbuster trade that solidified the defending AL East champs as heavy favorites to repeat.
Appointments between athletes and Dr. Andrews frequently conclude with unpleasant news. In the case for most pitchers, the diagnosis reveals a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which requires season-ending Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation that can last over a full calendar year.
If the second opinion on Price’s elbow happens to reveal a tear, it could also prevent him from opting out of his massive contract, which he is eligible to do after the 2018 season.
Price’s one stint on the disabled list came in 2013 when he strained his left tricep and was forced to miss the entire month of June.