NEW YORK — David Price could make his next start as soon as Saturday in Toronto after being diagnosed with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome in his left wrist.
Price was supposed to start against the Yankees on Wednesday night but was scratched because of numbness in his hand and sent back to Boston to be examined by a specialist, Dr. Matthew Liebman, at Newton Wellesley Hospital.
Price is scheduled to return here Thursday and play catch. If he also completes a bullpen session, the Sox would consider having Price start on Saturday. If not, lefthander Brian Johnson or righthander Hector Velazquez could pitch.
“We’re hoping he can make his next start,” Cora said. “We’ll see how it goes [Thursday] . . . If he can throw his bullpen and he’s ready to go, I don’t rule him out to pitch on Saturday.”
That the Sox did not place Price on the disabled list suggests they do not think the issue is serious.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by repetitive wrist work that compresses the median nerve in the hand. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo was diagnosed with it in 2009 and advised to stop playing the guitar.
Cora said Price could be treated by ice, massage, or laser.
“We’ll see what works for him. We need him. We need him here. We need him to compete,” Cora said.
Cora was not informed as to what caused Price to have carpal tunnel. He speculated it could be from pitching.
“I don’t know,” the manager said. “The only thing that we know is this and for me this is quote-unquote good news compared to thinking about something else.”
Price is an avid video-game player, as are many of the Red Sox. Of late, “Fortnite” is their game of choice. But Cora did not believe that was the cause.
“When he comes here [Thursday] we’ll talk about it,” Cora said. “We’ll talk with [Red Sox head athletic trainer Brad Pearson] and see where we’re at. From what I know, David has been playing video games his whole life.”
Price left his April 11 start against the Yankees after one inning because of numbness in his hand. He said that night it was the result of the cold weather and a circulatory issue he has had since childhood.
The symptoms disappeared that night and apparently did not pop up again until Sunday when Price cut short a bullpen session in Texas.
Whether Price has a circulation problem and carpal tunnel isn’t certain.
“I know there were a lot of tests from what [Pearson] told me,” Cora said. “I didn’t get into specifics.”
Price is 2-4 with a 5.11 earned run average in seven starts.
The Mets batted out of order in the first inning of their game at Cincinnati. It cost them a base runner in what ended up a 2-1 loss. Manager Mickey Callaway took the blame.
For Cora and fellow rookie manager Aaron Boone of the Yankees, it was a reminder to never take anything for granted.
Cora said bench coach Ron Roenicke confirms the lineup printed out by video coordinator Billy Broadbent. Then that is compared with the lineup posted in the dugout.
“There’s a lot of checking, a lot of check points,” Cora said. “I have nightmares thinking about it. Hopefully it doesn’t happen.”
Said Boone: “It’s one of the things I’m paranoid about every single day. We have about eight layers that we go through to make sure that something like that, hopefully, doesn’t happen to us, but certainly understand how it could.”
The Sox last batted out of order on Sept. 16, 1972, although the Cleveland Indians did not call it to the attention of the umpires.
There also was an odd incident last Aug. 25, when Chris Young illegally reentered the game in the ninth inning and hit. The Orioles, leading by 13 runs at the time, either did not notice or elected not to protest.
Wright readies for return
Steven Wright allowed one run over six innings of relief for Triple A Pawtucket on Tuesday night. He will pitch one or two innings out of the bullpen in his next appearance, probably on Saturday or Sunday.
Wright is allowed to pitch in the minors over a six-day period during his 15-game suspension for violating baseball’s domestic abuse policy. The final day of the suspension is Sunday.
Because Wright is out of minor league options, the Sox will add him to the major league roster. Cora said the only decision would be how to use the knuckleballer.
The Sox would not seem to need a starter unless Price cannot pitch. Wright has 15 career relief appearances, the most recent in 2015.
Dustin Pedroia is back at the team facility in Fort Myers, Fla., after attending a funeral in California. He is scheduled to play five innings in an extended spring training game on Thursday. Pedroia, who is coming back from knee surgery, is expected to join one of the minor league affiliates later this month . . . Righthander Tyler Thornburg is scheduled to pitch for Double A Portland on Thursday or Friday. He has pitched four times on a rehab assignment following shoulder surgery.