David Price’s elbow issues could increase Astros’ chances

May 12, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

How David Price’s potential elbow issues increase the Astros odds to win the AL in 2017.

No matter the player or team, you never wish an injury on another player. We are fans, but deep down inside we want our team to beat the other team’s best. Typically at the time of spring training, you hear of mild-groin injuries or the occasional dead arm issues. The Houston Astros have had a couple of bumps bruises here and there, but nothing like the Red Sox could be facing with David Price.

This past offseason, the rich got richer as they traded for Chris Sale. With Rick Porcello and Price already in tow, the addition of Sale made the Red Sox favorites in the AL East. Despite David Ortiz‘s retirement, the Red Sox’s offense should score plenty of runs. Pair the three studs in the rotation with a high scoring offense, that’s recipe for a championship team.

As a fan, I would never wish Tommy John surgery on anyone. While the surgery is not career ending as it was in the early days, it does set a player back for at least one year. According to multiple reports, David Price threw a simulated game Tuesday. The following day, he reported soreness in his elbow.

Price had an MRI, but it didn’t answer any questions. Most teams are cautious anytime that elbow issues emerge, these are multi-million dollar arms after all. Price has been scratched from his start and will see Dr. Tommy John, James Andrews. Until Price sees Andrews, Red Sox fans can only hope for the best but expect the worst.

The Trade Market.

Should Price be severely hurt, it’s hard to replace what he offers. Last year, he pitched 230 innings with 17 wins. That would take some of the punch out of the pitching rotation, but Sale and Porcello are not Doug Fister, they are aces. They would also need Drew Pomeranz to return to form. Price may not have been the best pitcher on the team, but a loss like that could bring the Red Sox back to the pack a bit.

Then again, despite already trading away some top talent for Sale, the Red Sox could target constant Astros target, Jose Quintana. It is unclear how much more talent the Red Sox could give up, but Quintana could be had for the right price. Because Quintana is still on the White Sox roster, they will not lower the asking price for the lefty ace. It’s unlikely though that the Red Sox will give another significant package for Quintana.

Easier path to the World Series?

Besides trumping the Astros in a deal at the deadline, this could affect the Astros chances in 2017. Should Price miss significant time, the AL pennant is a would appear a little more accessible for Houston. The big three teams in the AL were projected by many as the Indians, Red Sox, and Astros as the teams likely win their divisions.

More from Climbing Tal's Hill

As an Astros fan, I wish David Price the best. But his absence could be similar to the Warriors losing Kevin Durant. It could open the door a little more for the Rockets to win the championship. While Price is listed as the third pitcher on the depth chart, he means much more to the Red Sox. They chose Price over retaining Jon Lester, by signing him to a seven-year $216 million dollar deal.

This is why the Astros have been hesitant to make one of those multi-year deals for pitchers because here we are in year two of the Price deal. Now, he could be wasted for the year. It will be hard for the Astros to win the AL Pennant, but this potential injury would make it a little easier. Pete Abraham says that Price is very optimistic that he will not Tommy John surgery.

Next: The one position battle that no one is talking about.

The Red Sox will still be good, but Sox fans are waiting with fingers crossed right now. Hope all is well for Astro’s, the dog, owner. These are just a few of my thoughts. I mean, didn’t SI predict the Astros would win the championship in 2017?

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***