The Boston Red Sox are the American League pennant favorites after adding Chris Sale this offseason, but their spring training took a potential huge turn for the worse this week regarding their other ace lefty, David Price.
You ever watch HBO's “Hard Knocks”? It's always bad news when an NFL player in training camp is told to come see the head coach and to bring his playbook. That means the player is getting released. I don't want to see it's automatically bad news whenever a baseball player has to go see Dr. James Andrews, but it's not exactly a good thing.
Red Sox co-ace lefty David Price threw a simulated game in Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla., on Tuesday and his pitching elbow began bothering him the next day. The team doctors performed an MRI, but the results were inconclusive. So Price will visit Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon well known for performing Tommy John surgery, to get a second opinion on his elbow.
Maybe this is nothing – simple spring soreness. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Price has dealt with similar issues in previous spring trainings, but he reported more intense discomfort than usual. You don't just go see Dr. Andrews for normal soreness. Dr. Andrews is at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, so the Red Sox are sending Price there.
With a healthy Price alongside new addition Chris Sale and reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, the Red Sox would have arguably the best Top 3 starting pitchers in baseball. That's why Boston is the MLB betting favorite to win the AL pennant.
Price struggled a bit early last year in his first season in Boston but still finished with 17-9 record, 3.99 ERA and an AL-leading 230 innings pitched. He was fourth with 228 strikeouts. Price got better as the season went on as he had eight wins, nine quality starts, a 3.24 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in his final 14 starts. The 31-year-old Price has been one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, making an average of 32 starts the last seven seasons. Price was on the disabled list for the only time in his career in 2013 for a triceps strain.
On BetOnline MLB odds, Price is a +550 third-favorite to win his second Cy Young Award, behind Sale (+200) and Cleveland's Corey Kluber (+300). Price had been given an ‘over/under' of 15.5 wins.
Needless to say, those MLB odds could change. So could Boston's role as the AL favorite depending on what Dr. Andrews finds.