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Why David Price wasn’t throwing any breaking balls in his latest bullpen session

04.15.17 at 4:04 pm ET
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David Price (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Saturday morning, David Price continued to move in the right direction.

The Red Sox pitcher executed another bullpen session, this time implementing a few breaks in the routine to further simulate actually pitching. All of a sudden, Price isn’t far away from throwing to actual hitters.

“I haven’t had any setbacks yet. It’s going pretty smooth,” Price said.

But there is one aspect of Price’s game that he hasn’t surfaced when throwing off a mound: throwing breaking balls. On flat ground? Yes. Yet not when participating in these bullpen sessions.

Both Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis and manager John Farrell relayed, however, the reason behind the lack of anything but fastballs and changeups so far.

“We’re just building arm strength. He’s spun a few balls on the flat ground and in the throwing program. It’s building arm strength and maintaining arm strength before we go to that,” Willis said. “It’s no different than a throwing program preparing for spring training. I think we are approaching the time where we will see those breaking pitches on the mound.

“I don’t necessarily think that once we get to the point where we are facing hitters in a batting practice setting that it’s necessary to already have your breaking ball in play. You can go out and face those hitters in a BP situation with a fastball and changeup and then you progress forward because your breaking pitch comes off your fastball and release point with the arm speed.”

“The one thing that we’re trying to do is not throw a number of variables in at the same time so there’s a progression,” Farrell added. “You go from the long toss to the flat ground to spinning a breaking ball. Then incorporate the angle of the mound. Incorporate some ups and downs, and then also at that point, start to add in a full assortment of pitches. So there’s a little bit more of a systematic approach toward the addition of each variable going forward.”

And then there’s Price’s take.

“Didn’t want to push it too much, with it being the first time I’m throwing pitches and then taking a break and getting back up and throwing more,” the pitcher said.

When Price will throw again is still yet to be determined, although it will likely be at Rogers Centre with the team in Toronto. He is also waiting on something else — the birth of his first child.

“Count the days down until my son gets here, that’s about it,” Price said.

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