Is it time to worry about David Price?

May 12, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

Prior to the season it was a foregone conclusion that David Price, unanimously considered one of the top two prospects in baseball, would be up and contributing to the Tampa Bay Rays by June.  The team was just going to send him down to the minor for a little more seasoning, despite already showcasing him on the grandest of stages.  What they have, however, is a pitcher struggling at Triple-A making it nearly impossible for the team to recall him right now. 

His 2009 line is as follows:

1 Wins
24.2 Innings
4.74 ERA
1.65 WHIP
21 Strikeouts (7.66 K/9)
16 Walks (5.84 BB/9)
.292 BABIP

The blame does not fall on bad luck, but lack of control.  He was a lights out pitcher as he moved up the Rays farm system last season, posting impressive K/BB ratios of 5.29 at Single-A, 3.44 at Double-A and 3.00 in the Majors.  It should be noted that during his 18 inning Triple-A stint, his K/9 was 8.50 and his BB/9 was 4.50, eerily similar to the numbers he’s posted this season.

Is he truly not ready to take the ball as a starting pitcher against top tier talent?  Remember, the majority of his success for the Rays came as a reliever.  Still, at 23-years old I find it hard to believe that he’s not suited to take the ball and get major league hitters out. 

Could it be that he simply was disappointed in not making the team immediately out of Spring Training?  To me, that would explain some early season struggles, but it is something that he had to have gotten over by now.  He can’t let something like that bother him for this long if he wants to be a successful major league pitcher.  Unfortunately, it is his last few starts that have been the worst, walking 12 batters over 11 innings of work in three starts.  There is simply no way to equate that type of control to success.

Baseball America recently said, “What’s wrong with David Price? Much of it appears to be command. He’s throwing in the low-90s and touching the mid-90s with his fastball, but he’s not throwing enough strikes and not throwing good enough strikes when he does get the ball over the plate.”  For me, that says it all. 

If he can string together two or three good starts, this will all quickly be forgotten.  He can get back on schedule to make an impact for the Rays and fantasy owners in the near future.  It starts tonight when he takes the ball against Louisville.  Let’s see if he can right the ship.

What does everyone else think?  Will he be able to turn it around quickly?  Are you at all concerned with his struggles?

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

. .

11 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry
    May 12th, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    I heard there is an attitude problem with him. If his head is messed up who knows when he will be right?

  2. LestersLegends
    May 12th, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Yep. Too bad for the Rays. He was electric last year.

  3. Bill
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    Sounds similarto Lastings Millage. I’ll take Hanson over Price…

  4. Bill
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    Sounds similar to Lastings Millage. I’ll take Hanson over Price…

  5. Larry
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Good comparison Bill.

  6. Bill
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    Larry, not to get off topic, but what is your opinion of how Luke Hochevar will perform tonite? I just cut Hughes & picked him up.

  7. LestersLegends
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Very good comparison, although Millege’s sample was much bigger last year. I like that Hochevar is starting off in Oakland. Shouldn’t be too much of a slugfest.

  8. Larry
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Sorry I really don’t know anything about Hochexar, And anyway My fantasy baseball is the Yankee winning another World Series before “The Year 2525″

  9. LestersLegends
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    Good stuff Larry. OK, I’ll give you one by then.

  10. Frank
    May 13th, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    Very timely as I was recently wondering about David Price. Here in Cincinnati we have someone similar hype … Homer Bailey.

    Hey hey Larry .. Hats off to Zager and Evans.

  11. LestersLegends
    May 13th, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    Homer Bailey is a name I haven’t heard much about for a while.

Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties