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March 15, 2017

Rumor Roundup

Everybody Hurts

by Emma Baccellieri


Price likely to start season on disabled list

A day after David Price said that he was optimistic after getting a second opinion on his elbow and had heard what he “wanted to hear,” manager John Farrell announced that the Red Sox left-hander would begin the season on the disabled list. Price hasn’t pitched since feeling discomfort two weeks ago and will not need surgery, leaving him with a fairly open timetable for his return.

He’s started throwing into a net and he reportedly has been instructed not to follow a structured throwing program but instead to progress by how he feels. The Red Sox have not specified exactly what the injury is, but Price said that the strain is such that if he were younger, a procedure would apparently be on the table. "They said if I was 22 or 23 they'd have told me to go have surgery,” he told Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald about his doctors’ comments.

Price isn’t the only member of the team’s pitching staff to be questionable for the start of the year. Both Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz have been sidelined for most of spring training and only got their first game action in this week. Roenis Elias, meanwhile, has just been shut down for three weeks. It’s certainly possible that all—including Price—could be back at full strength in just a few weeks, but even so it’s not a particularly great situation for the Red Sox’s rotation depth.

Desmond to miss six weeks with fractured hand

The Rockies’ biggest free agent grab of the winter will be sidelined to start the year—Ian Desmond is undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left hand after being hit by a pitch and will reportedly miss about six weeks, as general manager Jeff Bridich told reporters yesterday. It’s an especially rough blow as the big signing tries to get the hang of a new position, with the team in the process of converting him to first base just a year after he’d been converted from shortstop to the outfield

This is one of several injuries the Rockies have been dealt lately, as Desmond joins outfielder David Dahl and catcher Tom Murphy in being sidelined to start the year. (Along with pitcher Chad Bettis, who could miss several months with chemotherapy to treat testicular cancer.) Mark Reynolds will likely take over for Desmond as needed, and Gerardo Parra is the top candidate to fill in for Dahl if the stress reaction in his rib persists.

Murphy was already set to split catching duties with Tony Wolters, who will now take over in full as Murphy sits out for 4-6 weeks with a hairline fracture of his forearm. That last injury does make the Rockies a potential candidate for Derek Norris, who was recently placed on waivers by the Nationals and who, as we wrote in this space on Monday, is already attracting interest from several suitors.

DeSclafani shut down for a month with UCL sprain

For the second straight year, Anthony DeSclafani will not be with the Reds on Opening Day. The pitcher was diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and will officially be sidelined for a month before being reevaluated. The 26-year-old was set to lead the team’s rotation, but that responsibility will likely be turned over to Brandon Finnegan in his stead. It’s a frustrating start to the season for a pitcher who made some major steps forward last year, dropping his changeup and coming back with a much-improved DRA.

A strained UCL means that Tommy John surgery could still be on the table for DeSclafani, but it’s far from a guarantee—teammate Michael Lorenzon made it back from a similar injury without surgery last year, as Cincinnati Enquirer beat reporter Zach Buchanan noted. It’s a separate injury from what DeSclafani dealt with last year, which was a strained oblique that kept him out until June.

Emma Baccellieri is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Emma's other articles. You can contact Emma by clicking here

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