What to Expect Out of David Price In The Second Half
We all know the story of David Price’s season so far. A dreadful first nine starts posting a record of 1-4 and an ERA of 5.24. Price ended up on the DL with a strained triceps and missed about six weeks. Returning from the DL, he has looked like the normal David Price we are used to seeing. In his last three starts, he is 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 25 innings. Now it’s the all-star break and everyone is wondering which David Price we will see in the second half of the 2013 season. It would be easy to say that he will keep doing well since he ended the first half on such a good note. However, if you take a closer look you realize two of the three starts were against the Astros and the other was against the White Sox. Critics would say that Price won’t amount to what he was, but Price hasn’t proven it yet. It’s true, he hasn’t proven anything yet, but here are the things I took out of his last three starts. Number one; he was working quickly and took efficiency to a new level.
Astros on July 2nd, 7 Innings, 70 pitches.
White Sox on July 7th, 9 innings, 90 pitches.
Astros on July 12th, 9 Innings, 87 pitches.
That last start against the Astros was the least amount of pitches thrown in a complete game this season. Efficiency means a lot. Getting deeper into games is part of the core of solid pitching. Eating up innings while keeping a low pitch count, the fact that Price is showing that, is a great sign. Number two; his velocity is getting back to the normal range. Before Price went to the DL, his fastball was hitting 92-93 MPH max. Now since Price has come off the DL he is back up to 94-95 MPH. Normal Price last year was 95-97, and that’s what made him so effective against hitters. Big reason why he struggled early on was because his velocity was not good. Now that it appears his velocity is getting higher and his arm is getting stronger, he is gaining back the edge he had last season.
There definitely was something sketchy about how Price missed seven weeks for an injury that appeared to be minor. Most strained triceps injuries don’t last that long. I believe that something else was going on, but enough of the conspiracist in me. Whatever was wrong with Price seems to be fixed now.
So with the first half behind, the big question lies with us. How will David Price pitch in the second half? Here’s what I think. I believe Price will pitch well, but not as well as his CY young season last year. Just like his start against the Blue Jays, Price is going to battle even when he gets behind. Price is a winner, and that’s exactly what I expect him to do.
Follow me on twitter for constant Rays updates: @ASommers5