Good news in the Red Sox’ camp today: David Price is nearing a return to the mound, and WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford estimates that it could come as soon as May 29. No official return date has been posted by the club yet, and it will likely be several more weeks until Price’s status becomes more clear, but the left-hander appears to be making considerable progress as he rehabs a left elbow injury.
The veteran lefty was diagnosed with left elbow soreness at the start of spring training and found himself sidelined well before his scheduled Grapefruit League debut in early March. It’s been slow going since then, but the club has successfully avoided any invasive surgical procedures so far and still projects a 2017 return for their ace. Pregame reports from manager John Farrell on Saturday revealed that Price is expected to make another four appearances this month: a four-inning simulated game on May 9 and three minor league outings on May 14, 19 and 24. According to Bradford, that should bring Price up to speed by May 29 or 30, which would allow him to make his first official start of the season during the Red Sox’ away series in Chicago.
Prior to his setback, Price turned in a 3.99 ERA in 2016, going 17-9 with a 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 in 230 innings for the Red Sox.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.