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We've seen for several years now what the lock-down, multi-inning reliever
can do for a team in the playoffs and it came to national fanfare http://www.baseballfansmall.com/nolan-reimold-jersey-c-1_69_297.html
with Andrew Miller taking over the AL playoffs in 2016. One difference is the
Red Sox want to start innings with Price instead of bringing him into a jam.
With a change of role, advanced notice as much as possible, said manager John
Farrell (via the Boston Globe). Maybe stretch him out an inning beforehand with
Perhaps Price can serve as a bridge for the Red Sox -- something like working
the sixth and seventh innings before getting to Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel.
He has the stuff to do it. Price is a former Cy Young winner who finished as the
runner-up in voting as recently as 2015. Most starters are more effective in
relief because they can pare down their arsenal and max out their effort instead
of saving bullets for later in the outing.
Also, though it was long ago, Price found success out of the bullpen in the
playoffs in 2008 for the Rays. In five outings (three in the ALCS, two in the
world Series), he had a 1. 59 ERA with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He
held opponents to a. 100/. 250/. 300 line. Small sample and, again, it was
nearly a decade ago, so lots of caveats apply, but he has done it before.
It's also worth considering the possibility that this either doesn't work or
results in Price re-aggravating the issue and being shut down again.