David Price leaves strong impression in simulated game

David Price should be ready to make his next start Thursday, March 10 against the Baltimore Orioles. Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The ballpark was empty, save for a handful of team officials and maintenance workers. There wasn't any music blaring from the sound system, only the hum of power washers along the concourse. Heck, there wasn't even an opposing team.

That was the backdrop for David Price's first spring training game, albeit a simulated one, for the Boston Red Sox.

Rather than giving the New York Yankees an unnecessary extra look at Price in the scheduled Grapefruit League game Saturday in Tampa, Florida, the Sox had their $217 million ace stay back at JetBlue Park and throw 38 pitches over the equivalent of two innings against teammates Pablo Sandoval, Chris Young, Rusney Castillo, Ryan Hanigan and David Murphy. And while it didn't exactly duplicate the conditions of a competitive game, Price accomplished enough that he will be ready to make his next start Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, to say nothing of leaving a positive first impression.

"Wow," catcher Christian Vazquez said. "He was good. On the glove side, he was painting that corner and throwing that two-seamer and comebacker and cutters to that side. I was impressed with that."

Price threw mostly fastballs but said he mixed in three curveballs and a few cutters and changeups. Nobody kept score, but Price appeared to strike out two batters, walk one and give up what likely would have been a single to left field for Young.

"It's the first time I've thrown, sat down and got back up and thrown again," Price said. "So everything felt good today."

Said pitching coach Carl Willis: "His focus and intensity, attention to detail, I don't know if you could have told there was any difference than if he were pitching in Tampa today. I thought his stuff was good, his glove-side command particularly was really good with the two-seamer and the cutter. It was a very positive first day for him."