David Price, who has made one start since Aug. 4 while dealing with a cyst on his left wrist, will be shut down for the rest of the 2019 season. The veteran lefthander will have a surgical procedure to address the cyst, and he’ll also be examined to determine if there are any other issues with his wrist that require attention.
“If there’s something else, we’ll take care of that if there’s something going on,” said manager Alex Cora. “I think it’s a head start to next year. It’s the smart thing to do. . . . If we were one game up or in the hunt, he’d probably be pitching out of the bullpen like in ’17. But where we’re at and obviously how important he is, it’s better off moving forward and getting right.”
Cora said that the consideration of additional possibilities beyond the cyst is a reflection of other issues Price has faced with his left wrist in the past. In 2018, for instance, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and circulatory issues.
Price, in the fourth year of a seven-year, $217 million deal, was limited to 22 starts this year, going 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 107⅓ innings — just under five innings a start.
Cora noted that Price’s typical pinpoint command of his two-seamer has been affected by his wrist issues, and in recent bullpen outings, he had been unable to throw his cutter or changeup without discomfort. Given those limitations and where the Sox are in the standings, the decision to end the 34-year-old’s season became straightforward.
“When you can’t perform the way you want to, it’s obviously frustrating,” said Cora. “If it’s up to him he’ll be throwing fastballs out there and trying to compete. But we took it away because we feel that it’s not conducive to something positive to the player. But he’s all in. He knows this is the best way to start off the offseason and get him ready and he’ll be ready.”
A Giant duo
Madison Bumgarner’s first start against the Red Sox was in 2010, which was also the first start of his rookie season after a four-game cameo the prior year. In seven innings, Bumgarner surrendered four earned runs on five hits, losing when two of those hits were homers by Darnell McDonald and Mike Cameron.
The Sox went 89-73 that year and didn’t make the playoffs. The young Bumgarner, the Giants, and manager Bruce Bochy went on to win the World Series.
Bochy and Bumgarner will always be intertwined, including Wednesday, when the latter starts for the first time at Fenway Park in the former’s final game managing there.
“I said this when we got through the trade deadline,” said Bochy, remembering an encounter between him and his ace. “We had a quick hug and, for him to be here for the remainder of my tenure here, that meant a lot to me. We have a special relationship from our time together.”
Bochy admitted he doesn’t remember much from when Bumgarner took the ball for the first time in Boston, one of 4,000-plus games he’s managed since 1995 . But he did offer this.
“I know he’s excited about pitching here. All the players love to play here. They know the history of this ballpark and this organization,” Bochy said. “You look out there and it’s a special place. The fans make it special and I know he’s looking forward to his start.”
The Sox will stay away from Mookie Betts again on Wednesday, but there’s a chance he could play in the series against the Tampa Bay Rays as the designated hitter. “He did some leg work in the weight room,” Cora said. “He feels a lot better. Today was a good day for him” . . . J.D. Martinez left Tuesday night’s game with groin tightness, and Cora doesn’t have a timetable for his return . . . Sam Travis is still in the concussion protocol, but Cora believes he’ll be fine. Travis was trying for a triple Tuesday and his helmet flew off. Brandon Crawford, the shortstop and relay man, hit Travis in the head as he attempted to throw him out at third . . . The Sox announced the winners of their 2019 minor league awards, tabbing 1B/3B Triston Casas (Offensive Player of the Year), infielder Ryan Fitzgerald (Defensive Player of the Year), righthander Thad Ward (Pitcher of the Year), outfielder Jarren Duran (Baserunner of the Year), OF/1B Darel Belen (Latin Program Position Player of the Year), and lefthander Nixson Muñoz (Lation Program Pitcher of the Year). Trevor Kelley was also recognized as the recipient of the Lou Gorman Award, given annually to a Sox minor leaguer who best demonstrates dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the major league team . . . The Sox honored Brock Holt, the team’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for the second straight year, during a pregame ceremony. The Clemente award salutes sportsmanship and community involvement; Holt is best known for his work with the Jimmy Fund, helping to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute . . . Carl Yastrzemski threw out the first pitch to his grandson, Mike Yastrzemski, the rookie who homered Tuesday in his first career Fenway game as a member of the Giants. The two embraced afterward before Carl walked off to a round of cheers.