Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

John Farrell on DHK: Red Sox weighing whether David Price will be starter or reliever if he returns

Alex Reimer
September 13, 2017 - 3:41 pm

The Red Sox aren’t counting David Price out of their postseason plans yet.

In his weekly interview with Dale & Holley with Keefe, manager John Farrell said the team will decide Price’s direction after he throws a three-inning simulated game Wednesday. The much-maligned left-hander has been on the disabled list with an elbow issue since July 28.

“We recognize the calendar, we recognize “f you take the starter path, what realistically lies ahead? There’s going to be additional sim games to continue to build him out to a higher number of pitches than there’s going to be, 45, today,” Farrell said. “If you take the reliever route, you can activate him sooner and get him into game action as a two-inning type of reliever. These are the things we need to weigh out, but more importantly, what’s best for David and his health. That’s what will be the priority.”

Outside of determining Price’s role, Farrell says the Red Sox haven’t held any discussions about the playoffs with their players. Instead, they’re focusing on closing the division out. The Red Sox hold a four-game lead over the Yankees, which increased following their win Tuesday over the lowly A’s at Fenway Park.

Mookie Betts was a big part of the offensive explosion, belting two home runs and knocking in six runs. It’s been an up-and-down season for the outfielder, whose batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are all down from last year. 

But Farrell thinks Betts is starting to find his groove, which is pertinent to the Red Sox’ chances of playoff success.

“You look at the batting average and the production with nobody on, and you look at it with men in scoring position, there are some wide gaps there,” Farrell said. “I think because Mookie is such a conscientious guy and wants to do well, he takes a lot upon himself. When we scuffled to score some rooms, he tried to do a little bit more. As a result, you saw him rushing out to get some pitches out ahead of himself, whereas you look at last night, which to me is a snapshot of what he’s done the past two years, he lets the ball travel deeper into the strike zone, he’s much more balanced, the bat speed is there, the hard contact is there. So it goes back to the inconsistency, but clearly, the ability to impact the game on all phases.”

 

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