Price throws encouraging simulated game

Red Sox lefty hits 95 mph with his 50th and final pitch of the day

Price throws encouraging simulated game

BOSTON -- On a day the Red Sox needed some good news on the health front, they got some. Lefty David Price fired three innings in a simulated game on the main diamond at Fenway Park, finishing the session with a 95-mph fastball.

Price was performing his work at the same time the Red Sox announced that Steven Wright would be lost for the season after he undergoes left knee surgery Monday.

Though Price isn't ready to replace Wright yet, he could be in the not too distant future.

The Red Sox continue to take a step-by-step approach with Price in his return from a left elbow strain sustained on Feb. 28. The next step, assuming everything goes as planned, will be a four-inning sim game on Tuesday in Milwaukee.

The club continues to not put a timetable on Price's projected return to the Red Sox.

But if you compare it to the progression of starts a pitcher typically goes through in Spring Training, Price could return by late May or early June.

"I'm not even comparing it to Spring Training," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I know what he's capable of doing right now. Today was 50 pitches total that were thrown. The plan would be to come in and make sure he's fine tomorrow. A light 'pen when we get over to Minneapolis on Saturday, and then be set to go for another work day Tuesday. Beyond that, I think it's too early to get that far ahead of ourselves."

The Red Sox do see signs of encouragement from Price, particularly in the enthusiasm he has for the way his elbow is responding.

"I talked to him myself the other day and he said, 'Dave, I'm good.' He said, 'I feel really good.' When he's throwing the ball like that, he's good," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "And he was sitting there consistently 93 to 95 [mph] the whole time [on Thursday]. And his other pitches were sharp, too. And he walked off the dirt and he feels great. Always the kicker is how do you feel the next day? But it's encouraging at this point."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.