It wasn’t supposed to happen originally, but David Price will be on the mound Monday at Fenway Park for the Red Sox’ home opener against the Orioles (2 p.m., NESN).
Due to the rainy week in Cleveland, the Red Sox altered their rotation and opposed having Price to pitch on regular rest Sunday against the Blue Jays.
He could have pitched Sunday in Toronto where he’s pitched historically well, but manager John Farrell elected to give Price an extra day of rest. He explained what went into the decision.
"Our thought coming out of spring training was David was going to pitch Monday [April 4] and we'd roll him back around on Saturday in Game 2," Farrell said on the WEEI Red Sox Radio Network over the weekend. "Then he would be on tap to get an extra day rest the next time through on Friday back home against Toronto once again. When we started to miss days and then all of a sudden you're looking at two and possible three guys in that rotation getting pushed further back, I think it begins to accumulate against you in that way. We tried to keep our entire rotation as close to their normal day as possible, rather than just looking at one guy in particular and keeping him on a set schedule.”
Price will be making his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Red Sox, a place where he’s pitched extremely well. For his career he is 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA at Fenway. It is his lowest ERA in any ballpark in baseball where he’s made at least three starts.
The new Red Sox left-hander won’t be the only star to be making his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Sox, as Craig Kimbrel could see some time in the ninth if Boston has the lead.
With the addition of Kimbrel, Koji Uehara has slotted back and the move improves the bullpen as a whole. While Uehara was a fan favorite, getting Kimbrel makes the bullpen that much better than it was a year ago.
Also, it will be Red Sox fans' first chance to see Travis Shaw start at third base as Pablo Sandoval will be on the bench. With the team being introduced before the game, it will be interesting to see the reception Sandoval gets from the Fenway faithful.
There should be no shortage of storylines and excitement for Monday’s opener and what better way to get the home slate going than the No. 1 acquisition of the offseason getting the ball for the first game at Fenway.