Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price has been placed on the 15 day disabled list after suffering a strained left triceps during yesterday’s start against the Boston Red Sox. Price began to feel tightness at the start of the 3rd inning, throwing around 4-5 pitches before realizing he “didn’t think it was going away”. Initial expectations are that Price will miss around 2 weeks.
Rehabilitation will initially focus on calming down inflammation and soreness/pain during the acute phase (first 7-10 days following injury) via rest, ice, electrical stimulation, and/or ultrasound. After a few days, soft tissue mobilization via a physical therapist will be initiated to help increase blood flow to the area and “reorganize” muscle fibers to help promote tissue healing. Then, stretching and strengthening of the surrounding musculature will be introduced in addition to eccentric (loading a muscle as it lengthens) strengthening of the triceps, followed by concentric (loading muscle as it contracts) strengthening. The location and severity of the strain will dictate when each of the above phases of rehabilitation will be implemented, with a mid-belly strain being the best case scenario versus a strain at the musculotendinous junctions (this is the point where the muscle and tendon blend into each other).
Price is off to a horrible start this season, posting a 1-4 record with a 5.29 ERA in 9 starts. The reigning Cy Young award winner’s season has been rocky from the start, and this injury does nothing to alleviate those frustrations. Expect Price to be eased back into things, with the likelihood of a rehab assignment prior to return to the rotation being very likely. At first guess, my expectation is that Price will miss at least 2-3 turns in the rotation before he returns.
As we discussed yesterday on the Injury Report, this may be a fantastic time to find a frustrated Price-owner in your league buy low on the Rays’ ace. I typically formulate my opinions on guys based on their track records, and not one individual injury or a 9-start sample size. Price has a 3.29 ERA with just a hair under one strike out per inning in his career, which are ace-level numbers. This recent injury may be a bit of a blessing in disguise for Price, allowing him to take his mind of his terrible start and focus on getting things right mechanically and health-wise.
Keep an eye out news in the upcoming week, as no reported setbacks and return to throwing by next week will be steps in the right direction to avoid a lengthy layoff.