Price endures rocky outing in rehab start

Farrell doesn't rule out lefty taking mound for Boston

Price endures rocky outing in rehab start

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Though David Price had a second straight laborious outing for Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't rule out the left-hander making his next start for Boston.

"There's no announcement at this point. We've got to sit with him and talk about what's best for him, best for us as we move forward," said Farrell from Fenway Park, after the Red Sox beat the Rangers, 9-4.

Price, who was scheduled to throw between 85 and 90 pitches, worked 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven hits and six runs (three earned) replete with one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 61 of 89 pitches for strikes and topped out at 96 mph on McCoy Stadium's radar gun. Price initially was scheduled to make a rehab start on May 14 against Rochester but because the game was rained out, he only threw a simulated game.

His first rehab start was on May 19 at Buffalo. He pitched two innings during which he allowed three runs on five hits and threw 65 pitches.

As far as Price's progression goes, the Red Sox are willing to keep an open mind and look beyond the boxscore.

"Well, the next step will be that we'll sit and talk with him [Thursday]," said Farrell. "He came out of tonight's game feeling fine physically. He got to maybe the goal number of pitches thrown. A couple of extended innings early once again. But we had a scout there that liked what he saw in terms of the physical stuff.

"The line score isn't going to be what we'll see going forward, but from just answering the physical side of it, I think he's answered that tonight. But we'll check him in the morning, make sure there's no physical ailments -- which we don't expect any -- and we'll sit with him and map out the next step."

The fact Price didn't coast through his rehab start Wednesday night for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Louisville Bats may be of benefit in the long run.

That was the opinion expressed by PawSox manager Kevin Boles after a 13-6 victory.

"He had to work hard," Boles said. "It's a credit to him because he had to work hard the first couple of innings. But he was able to be more efficient.

"The good thing about this is he's had to work to get outs, and he's felt good every outing that he's gotten off the mound. That's a positive sign."

What Price, who's been on Boston's disabled list since Spring Training after suffering a left elbow strain, thought about his performance was an unknown factor because he bolted McCoy Stadium minutes after completing his work.

"It was the same type of deal," Boles said when comparing Price's command against Buffalo with his command against Louisville. "We saw some pitches that were elevated. He wasn't able to finish and kill counts. I thought he worked ahead in the count a few times but wasn't able to finish off hitters, and they were able to extend at-bats a little bit and run up that pitch count.

"The way the ball's coming out of his hand looks pretty good. I think the command needs to get a little bit better, but it will get there."

Price's first inning left much to be desired. Phillip Ervin led off with a ground-rule double, and after an out, Jesse Winker dumped a broken-bat single to right.

"It looked like the delivery at times was a little out of sync and the timing was off," Boles said. "But he was able to settle in a little bit. He said he felt good after his outing. His command isn't what he was looking for. I think he'd say that if you asked him. I thought the stuff was pretty good. It was the command and location, which is to be expected when he's coming off an injury."

Was Price's performance good enough to convince Boston he should join the rotation?

"That's not for me to tell," Boles said. "Our job is to make sure he gets through healthy. Boston's going to make the final decision.

"If you talk with David, he's pretty upbeat about how he's feeling physically."

Mike Scandura is a contributor to MLB.com.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.