When David Price left his start on May 15th against the Red Sox, one of the first questions asked was when he would return. Up until recently, there had been few details about his rehab; however, he has pitched a couple of bullpen sessions over the past week. He again threw all of his pitches, increasing his pitch count from 33 to 45 in yesterday’s session. Even more importantly, Price stated that he is feeling good.
“Honestly, I’m totally as if [the injury] never happened. I feel that good right now,” Price said. “This is the best I’ve felt all year long, including Spring Training. It feels 100 percent right now.”
What is of interest from Price’s quote is how he stated that this is the best he has felt all year long, including Spring Training. Given his struggles at the start of the year, there was reason to speculate that perhaps Price was hiding an injury as it was. Perhaps, in his quest to be even better than he was last season, Price pushed himself too hard at the start of camp, and just tried to work through the pain, until he aggravated the injury that night. Even though he didn’t specifically say that he was injured, Price did state that he did not feel right.
“It didn’t bother me until really that game. I definitely felt other things, but it was nothing that limited the way that I pitch. I just wasn’t making good enough pitches,” Price said. “If that affects my ability to make pitches, then it did affect me. I don’t think that was the case. I just wasn’t very good at the time, so I feel very good right now.”
Given how Price has not exactly denied that he was trying to pitch through an injury, the Rays cautious approach with his rehab makes even more sense. Although Price stated that he felt that he could pitch in a game on Monday, the Rays are planning on having Price throw another bullpen session, then a simulated game before he embarks on a minor league rehab assignment. If everything goes well, it is thought that Price could rejoin the Rays either later this month or in the beginning part of July.
Having David Price back, and healthy, will be a major key to the Rays postseason hopes. If he comes back in top form, and is close to the same pitcher he has been since 2010, then Price may be able to help push the Rays back to the playoffs. Now, the Rays just need to make sure that this Price is right.