David Price sucks. David Price can’t handle the pressure of his new contract. David Price is done. David Price can’t handle Boston. David Price is a bust. Stop defending David Price. I’ve heard it all. My Twitter mentions are a dumpster fire every time this guy takes the mound.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m not defending David Price. Hell, David Price isn’t even defending David Price. He said his starts have sucked, and I’ve said his starts have sucked when they’ve actually sucked. He’s had some good ones mixed in there, but he wasn’t brought here to have the worst ERA in baseball. For some reason, there are people who think that I lose credibility for attempting to find a logical explanation as to why he sucks, as opposed to just throwing my hands up and saying he sucks, he’ll never be good again, and there’s no reason behind it other than he just sucks. Awesome line of thinking.
Listen, I understand that power pitchers lose velocity. That happens. It’s part of baseball, and it’s just part of the natural aging process. But that’s what you start talking about when it comes to pitchers who are 35 and older. Price is 30. He’s not at a point in his career where you have to start talking about diminishing skills, at least not to the degree that he’s lost his fastball from the end of 2015 to now.
I speculated that it could be an injury, and I get hit with the “stop making excuses” crowd. When you see a drop in velocity like that from one year to the next, it’s either injury related or mechanics related. Since (silly me) I assumed that the Red Sox coaching staff would’ve been studying video like crazy to see what was wrong with the delivery of their $217 million pitcher, and still nothing had been found, then it probably wasn’t his delivery. Fair assumption, right? Then John Farrell comes out after his most recent start and says that Price is 100% healthy, so there goes that theory, too.
The thing is, there has to be an explanation for Price’s drastic drop in velocity. As much as Sully from Southie would like to just say “Ya, dude sucks, kehd. Get ‘em off the team, guy,” there has to be a reason for him sucking this badly, and Dustin Pedroia thinks he might’ve found that reason. And by Price’s excitement at the news of this discovery, it seems pretty significant.
Right off the bat, there are going to be three camps on this one. First, the people who already have their minds made up about Price in a Red Sox uniform are going to roll their eyes at this, and say that it means nothing, will amount to nothing, Price just sucks, and he’s a huge bust. Then, you’ll have the people who think that Pedroia magically “fixed” Price, and all is well in the world. Finally, you’ll have the camp that I’m in, and that’s the let’s wait and see camp. Like Price said, it can’t get any worse. There’s clearly a difference in how Price has pitched this year, mechanically, versus how Pedroia remembered Price’s delivery in the past.
A few thoughts in regards to that — Price still has to execute these changes. If he’s been repeating the same delivery incorrectly through seven starts, then it’s going to take a little bit of work to reverse that. There you go making excuses for him again, Jared! Nah, it’s just thinking logically here. If you repeat something hundreds of times, then muscle memory takes over and it’s a difficult process to reverse. However, Price did say after Pedroia’s discovery that this is an “easy fix,” so I guess we’ll see.
Next, how the fuck didn’t John Farrell or Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis notice this? I mean, I didn’t go back and look at the tape myself. But I feel like if I took the initiative to look at the tape from when Price was going good, and compared it to when he was sucking, then that difference in his delivery is pretty obvious. It’s not a subtle difference at all. So, yeah. Not a good look for the Red Sox coaching staff.
The other factor here is, what happens if Price goes out and sucks again in his next start against Houston? It’s great that Pedroia discovered this, but don’t you think it was a bad idea to put this out there BEFORE he makes his next start? If he goes out and pitches well, then you can release this sort of thing and pat each other on the back and whatnot. But, as if there wasn’t already a ton of pressure on Price to perform well in his next start, now he has the added pressure of, oh, well if you noticed a flaw in your mechanics, fixed it, and you still suck, then yeah, we’re pretty fucked, especially if you’re not injured.
Steven Wright looks great, though.