BOSTON -- David Price is going back to the bullpen.
With the hope that Price's past will be prologue, the Boston Red Sox reinstated the $217 million lefty from the disabled list Thursday and announced he will be used as a reliever for the rest of the season. Price hasn't pitched in a game since July 22 because of soreness related to a partial tear in his elbow suffered during spring training.
"[He] recognizes the limited available of time to build back up, so logically this is a spot and he's accepting of the role," said manager John Farrell, who met with Price on Thursday morning to discuss the situation. "He wants to get back and pitch. He wants to get back and compete."
Price, 32, was used as a reliever after being called up to the majors by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. He made a considerable impact in the postseason, allowing one earned run over 5⅔ innings and helping the Rays reach the World Series.
More recently, Price made a three-inning relief appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 4 of the Division Series in 2015.
Price's struggles as a starter in the playoffs have been well-documented. In nine career starts, he's 0-8 with a 5.74 ERA. The Red Sox's decision to move him to the bullpen was made because there isn't enough time left in the season for him to rebuild his arm strength as a starter.
On Wednesday, Price threw 47 pitches in a simulated game and said he was ready to return in some capacity.
"Just want to pitch," he said, "whatever it is."
Farrell said the Sox will ease Price into the relief role by giving him advance notice of when he will pitch (he won't be available until at least Sunday). They also prefer to have him start an inning rather than coming in with runners on base, and Farrell said they view Price as a multi-inning reliever.
"I think there will be some spots that will emerge naturally," Farrell said. "I think the one thing that he has shown in these two [simulated games] is the full assortment of pitches, good power to his fastball. From just a physical standpoint, I think he's passed those tests to put him in this position."
With Price removed from consideration, the final two spots in the Red Sox's postseason rotation will come down to right-handers Rick Porcello and Doug Fister and lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. Chris Sale and lefty Drew Pomeranz are locks to make postseason starts.
Price can have an impact out of the bullpen in the playoffs if he's able to stay healthy. Farrell noted the contribution made by starter-turned-reliever Felix Doubront when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013. Considering that Pomeranz has been a six-inning pitcher throughout the season, there figure to be opportunities for multi-inning relief.
"It was on full display last October the way things have evolved with more aggressive use of the bullpen," Farrell said. "Feel like David getting healthy, getting game activity under his belt is a prime candidate to be that type of guy."