SAN DIEGO — The Red Sox initially hoped David Price would come off the injured list to face the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon. But his next appearance has been pushed back.
Price will instead pitch a simulated game in Colorado on Tuesday afternoon.
“Probably 50-55 pitches. Then after that we’ll see how he reacts to it,” manager Alex Cora said Friday before the Sox played the Padres.
“We didn’t feel comfortable pushing him to pitch this weekend. It’s not that there’s some red flags. But he’s not where we want him to be. He’s a guy that we have to take care of.”
Price has not pitched since Aug. 4. The Red Sox placed him on the injured list four days later because of a cyst in his left wrist.
The extra time off will allow Price to build up stamina and improve his command. It’s possible he could start on Sept. 1 in Anaheim.
“We just have to make sure,” Cora said.
Price is 7-5 with a 4.36 earned run average over 21 starts and only 105⅓ innings this season.
Lefthander Brian Johnson is tentatively scheduled to start on Sunday
Venezuela off limits
Major League Baseball will not allow affiliated players, major or minor leaguers, to play in the Venezuelan Winter League in compliance with the economic sanctions imposed by the United States.
Teams received a memo this week.
The Red Sox had six players in the Venezuelan league last winter, all minor leaguers. Backup catcher Sandy Leon, a Venezuelan, was considering playing this winter if the Red Sox gave him permission.
“I haven’t played as much this season and it would be good to get some at-bats and keep my body ready,” Leon said. “But I wonder if they will be able to have a league now.”
A large percentage of the winter league rosters in Venezuela are made up of MLB players and prospects. The league had eight teams and a 63-game schedule last year.
“It would be terrible if they didn’t play,” said Leon, who has played parts of seven seasons in Venezuela. “But the crime in the country is a problem, too. Everybody wants to be safe.”
Leon last played in Venezuela for four games in 2017 for Aragua.
Venezuela has been savaged by poverty and civil unrest under President Nicolas Maduro. Leon spent only a few days there last offseason and doesn’t plan to return now.
“Baseball is so popular there, it would mean a lot for people to see major leaguers play,” he said. “This will kill that league and now Venezuelans will have to go somewhere else to play.”
Nate, not so great
Nate Eovaldi, the scheduled starter for the Sox on Saturday, has a 6.69 earned run average and 1.62 WHIP in 16 games and 36⅓ innings this season.
Eovaldi returned to the rotation on Sunday against the Orioles and allowed five runs on three hits and three walks over two innings and 43 pitches. The righthander has a 7.43 ERA in five starts this season after being signed to a four-year, $68 million contract last December.
The Sox are hopeful Eovaldi can get through 60 pitches and go four innings.
“I think we take for granted being able to go from the bullpen to starting,” Cora said. “It isn’t easy. It’s a different mindset, too. But we feel he’ll be fine.”
Two Sea Dogs stars
Infielders C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec were named to the postseason Eastern League All-Star team.
Chatham, a 24-year-old shortstop, hit .297 with 30 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, and 39 runs in 90 games for Portland. He was a second-round pick in 2016.
Dalbec, a 24-year-old third baseman, hit .234 with an .825 OPS, 20 home runs, and 57 RBIs in 105 games for Portland. He was a fourth-round pick, also in 2016.
Chatman and Dalbec were promoted to Triple A Pawtucket earlier this month.
Chavis gets started
Michael Chavis, out since Aug. 12 with a sprained left shoulder, started at first base for Triple A Pawtucket on Friday at Buffalo. He was 0 for 3 and struck out twice while playing five innings in the field. His rehabilitation assignment is expected to last at least a few days . . . Chris Sale, who is recovering from a PRP shot in his elbow, is not with the team . . . Righthanded reliever Heath Hembree, who has not pitched since Aug. 1 because of an elbow strain, is making progress and seems likely to pitch again this season. But first baseman/DH Steve Pearce (left knee) and righthander Steven Wright (elbow) are all-but-officially shut down for the season. Pearce is unable to run and Wright hasn’t thrown off a mound in weeks. “We’re battling time,” Cora said . . . Major League Baseball changed the scoring of a play from Aug. 14 in Cleveland. An error was taken away from Xander Bogaerts on a throw in the third inning and switched to an error on first baseman Sam Travis.