These next two mornings will rank among the most intriguing of the spring. David Price, after getting knocked around pretty well in his spring debut last Thursday, will get a shot at the Yankees today. And Clay Buchholz, after a rusty debut nearly two full weeks ago, will face the Twins on Wednesday.
Price, logic would dictate based off of his composition and ability, will likely have a bounce-back showing today – putting to rest any concerns. Buchholz at this point is the wild card. The extended layoff between appearances is part of a slower rollout for him as he returns from injury. The real question will be how long the next gap between appearances is, because Boston barely has another two weeks to work with before he’s expected to be going every five days. And, to this point, he’s thrown less than two innings.
As much as is being written about Eduaro Rodriguez not being available for the start of the year, it is possibly equally as likely that Buchholz isn’t going to be ready just yet either (though, no question, he is further along than E-Rod at this point).
Your very realistic starting five heading into Opening Day, then, is Price, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, Steven Wright and Henry Owens.
That at least leaves the door open for a move before the start of the year to add a more experienced big league arm.
Look at that logjam at catcher (depending, of course, on how Blake Swihart recovers from getting dinged on Sunday, and how Christian Vasquez continues to progress in his rehab from Tommy John surgery), as the most likely starting point for building a deal.