If you follow along with the Just Average Sports Guys, you would already know that I was very high on the Red Sox this year as our “over/under” segment of Faces for Radio had me going with the over on their projected win total of 92.5. I thought that the Sox could get back to the playoffs and challenge for a spot in the World Series because of a rejuvenated Pablo Sandoval, a decent bullpen, and some of the best young outfielders in the game coming into their second full year together.
I also liked the pitching, which was a major step up from last year where it was David Price, Cy Young winning Rick Porcello and everyone else. I thought Eduardo Rodriguez should be able to take a bigger step this year, and saw no problem getting rid of Clay Buchholz, despite the fact that he wound up being a playoff starter last year. I felt like the Sox did enough that they should be able to repeat their success of last year, and maybe even matchup favorably in the playoffs, even if David Price turns into playoff David Price again (hell, he’d make a pretty decent third-game starter if I do say so myself). Then the one name that drives fear into the hearts of pitchers, their agents and fans of their team everywhere was uttered:
Dr. James Andrews.
Price was dealing with some soreness in his elbow, possibly due to the massive number of innings he pitches every year, and went to have a second opinion by the famed surgeon who is often the bearer of bad news for teams looking at a promising season with a quality starting pitcher at their disposal. Now, the news that came back was not bad, all things considered. Price will not need surgery, which would have probably sidelined him for a year. Price won’t even need an injection for the soreness. At this time it’s just rest that is the remedy for this malady. There’s a good chance Price starts the season on the disabled list, but the questions just start to generate from there.
The big question, for me at least, is this something that will linger for most of the year before the Sox eventually shut Price for good down around the All-Star Break? Is this something that we can all see coming a mile away only to wind up taking the wind out of the team’s sails in September as they are pushing for the playoffs? Or, do the Red Sox take it easy with Price in the beginning of the season and try to save him for the playoff push and eventual race in October? Will they be out of it before Price gets fully healthy and contribute? Does a season that started with so much promise get torpedoed early on if one of the key cogs is sidelined for an extended period of time at any point?
All of these questions wouldn’t even be asked if it wasn’t for a trip to see Dr. Andrews.