Red Sox left-hander David Price was scratched from his first spring training start and will consult with specialists after experiencing soreness in his left forearm and elbow.
Price, who is scheduled to make his first spring start this weekend, underwent an MRI on Wednesday but results of the test are not yet available. Still, Price is expected to seek second opinions from Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neil ElAttrache, who are at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. He would likely travel to Indianapolis for consultations.
Manager John Farrell said Price threw 38 pitches in a two-inning simulated game Tuesday and felt no discomfort. He first noticed the soreness Wednesday morning.
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”He’s gone through some soreness in the forearm/elbow area in previous spring trainings but this one has got a little bit more intensity to it,” Farrell said.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the club was setting up appointments for Price.
”You’re concerned any time any of your pitchers have a sore elbow,” Dombrowski said. ”To what extent, at this point, we’ll have to wait until the doctors see him. But you never like to see a guy step down no matter what, as far as missing any time is concerned. But we’ll wait and we’ll see, because we just don’t have enough information at this point.”
The loss of Price for a significant amount of time could be a setback for the Red Sox. The team was counting on Price, along with reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and lefty Chris Sale, acquired in a December trade with the White Sox for four top prospects, to lead the team this season.
Price went 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA in a major league-leading 35 starts last season, his first in Boston. The Red Sox signed Price in December 2015 to a $210 million contract, seven-year contract.
Price was not available for comment Thursday. Earlier this week, before the injury, Price acknowledged he had something to prove after last season.
”I’ve always got something to prove,” he said. ”If you ain’t got nothing to prove, you’re not very driven. So we all have something to prove.”
The Red Sox entered camp with Price, Porcello and Sale slated for the top three spots in the rotation with knuckleballer Steven Wright and left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez competing for the final two spots.
Notes: Unable to reach an agreement, the Red Sox unilaterally renewed the contract of OF Mookie Betts at a salary of $950,000 in the major leagues and $283,000 in the minors. The major league salary is the second-highest for a non-arbitration-eligible player under reserve behind Mike Trout’s $1 million agreement with the Los Angeles Angels in February 2014. Betts hit .318 with 31 homers and 113 RBIs last season and made his first All-Star team. He had a $566,000 major league salary.