After missing the first 49 games of the 2017 season, Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher David Price made his season debut Monday against the Chicago White Sox.
Due to an elbow injury, Boston Red Sox starter David Price began the 2017 season on the DL. As a result, he made his 2017 debut on Monday against the White Sox and received a no-decision.
In his debut, Price pitched five innings, allowed three runs on two hits, two walks and two hit batters. He struck out four.
Price pitched well in his first outing of the season. He kept his fastball around 95 mph throughout his outing and displayed his curveball, proving his elbow’s fine.
He only made one mistake. In the third inning, after walking two straight batters, Price allowed a three-run home run to White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera.
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In the fifth inning, Price started the inning by hitting two batters on the foot. He then forced a fielder’s choice. With runners on first and third, shortstop Xander Bogaerts made an impressive diving stop and allowed the Red Sox to turn a double play that ended the inning.
All in all, Price had a good outing in Chicago, especially with the White Sox hitting well against lefty pitchers. According to NESN, the White Sox entered Monday’s game 10-5 against left-handers this season (the best record against lefties in baseball).
Some concern surrounded Price’s rehab assignment. In two rehab appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox, he posted a 9.53 ERA. He allowed six earned runs in just 5.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .400 off of him in those two starts. He also walked two batters and struck out eight. His struggles against AAA batters caused some skepticism about him facing MLB hitters.
Before the 2016 season, Price signed a seven-year deal with the Red Sox worth $217 million. The 31-year-old struggled in his first season with Boston.
In 2016, Price posted a 17-9 record, a 3.99 ERA, a 1.204 WHIP, a 3.60 FIP and 228 strikeouts. His ERA, WHIP and FIP were his worst numbers since 2009. His numbers weren’t terrible, but not what the Red Sox expected when they signed him in the previous offseason.
Price, for his nine-year career, owns a 121-65 record, a 3.21 ERA, a 1.142 WHIP, a 3.25 FIP and 1,600 strikeouts. He sits 16th on the active wins list among pitchers.
Three times in his career, Price has finished top-two in the AL Cy Young voting. In 2010 and 2015, he finished second in the Cy Young voting. He won the award in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Boston Red Sox hope Price can return to Cy Young form in 2017. Price joins a rotation that consists of Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz. If Price continues to pitch well, Boston may boast the best rotation in baseball.
If all goes as planned, Price’s next start should come against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, June 3.