Price throws simulated game at Pawtucket

Price throws simulated game at Pawtucket

PAWTUCKET -- David Price was unable to make his scheduled rehab start on Sunday at Pawtucket due to rain. But the left-hander threw a simulated game at McCoy Stadium and said he "felt good" and had "no complaints" about his elbow.

Price threw 75 pitches and five innings in an indoor batting cage to Blake Swihart and Aneury Tavarez, taking six to eight minutes between innings to replicate the feel of an actual game.

"I used everything," Price said. "I threw all of my pitches to both sides of the plate. I did it really well today."

Price, who suffered the injury to his throwing elbow in early March, is slated to start with Pawtucket at Buffalo on Friday.

"Looking to get [Price] between 85 and 90 [pitches] at that point and then we'll reevaluate ... following [his start on] Friday -- and wouldn't rule out his return to us if everything goes according to plan," Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters.

When asked whether he expects to return to the Majors following this Friday's start, Price said he doesn't "make the rules." But the general consensus was that his return could come sooner rather than later.

Price knew going in that he wanted to pitch on Sunday -- whether the team played or not. His goal was to keep pitching every five days and to get work in however he could.

Early in the day with the tarp on the field, it seemed possible the game would happen. Instead, it was called off a couple of hours prior to the scheduled 1:35 p.m. ET start, which meant a simulated game for Price.

The simulated session was like a real game, according to Price. He said Price checked runners at first and second base, with manager Kevin Boles behind him calling balls and strikes. Blake Swihart hit an imaginary double off the Green Monster, but that was one blip on an otherwise smooth showing.

"He treated it like it was a game," Boles said. "There's no doubt about that."

Boles said Price's fastball, cutter to a right-handed batter and breaking ball all looked sharp. He noted that Price's pitches were largely in the zone and deemed the outing "pretty impressive."

"It's about the quality of the strikes," Boles said. "With the history he has, with what he's done, he knows when he's throwing the ball well."

Price said he's in no rush to get back to the Red Sox, but he acknowledged that he's coming along well and is inching closer by the day. He knows patience is the best approach. But for now, he's just happy to be pitching to hitters again.

The next step is the game on Friday, and Price is eager to get back on the mound. He said the timing of the injury and not being able to pitch at the start of the year has been the toughest part. But he's hoping to have a long season ahead of him once the time comes.

"If I didn't feel confident in my [ability] to go out there and pitch well, I wouldn't do it," Price said. "I wouldn't put myself at risk and I wouldn't put the team at risk. We've taken a good amount of time since [the injury] happened. I feel like I'm ready to go."

Trevor Hass is a contributor to MLB.com, based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.