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发布于:2018-3-9 12:56:03  访问:8 次 回复:0 篇
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For Tampa Bay Rays, Price May Not Be So High In Starting Role
Scott Kazmir hasn`t been throwing the baseball well all season for the Tampa Bay Rays, and he mentioned even during his struggle that the mechanics weren`t right. After posting an 11.35 ERA in his last five starts, he`s been put on the disabled list with a right quadriceps strain. The same day, the Rays put closer Troy Percival on the DL with a shoulder problem. All of this immediately led to speculation that David Price would be brought up from the minors, and indeed he made his season debut on Monday against Cleveland.
Price had not been a dominant force in the minors this season, as some may have expected. He was only 1-4 at Durham, and while some of that may be attributed to non-support, he did not sparkle. Price walked 18 batters in 34-1/2 innings, although we must point out that he came into the Monday start on a sizzling note, having blanked Rochester over five innings with dieu khac nine K`s last Sunday.
One thing you can say is that Price has not been overworked. In none of his starts at Durham has he gone beyond five innings. Overall he was 14-1 with a 2.31 ERA last season, when you take into account his entire trek from Class-A Vero Beach all the way up to the majors. And he shined best when the spotlight was brightest, becoming only the fourth pitcher in major league history to chalk up his first post-season win before winning a regular season game. He held opponents to a .100 batting average once he got to Tampa Bay.
Remember, however, that his action at the major league level had all been in a relief role. I know he is being counted on to be a long-term starter, and maybe even an ace, in the Rays` rotation. But where is this team going to need help as it challenges two teams with deep pockets (New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox) and another that has shown surprising resilience (Toronto) in the AL East? I think there`s a reasonable parallel to be drawn between Price and Joba Chamberlain, who mowed everyone down in a cup of coffee with the Yankees a couple of years ago but has gradually had to work himself into a position of developing consistency as a starter.
On Monday he went only 3-1/3 innings, and during that time he threw 100 pitches. I know that the starting staff has not gotten all it has wanted out of Kazmir or Andy Sonnanstine, and that Jeff Niemann is still a work in progress. But sooner or later, if you want a guy to be a starter, he has to perform like a starter. Will that be happening with Price?
The Tampa Bay bullpen has not been horrible thus far (4.16 ERA through Tuesday`s games). There are capable arms out there like Lance Cormier and J.P. Howell. Jason Isringhausen, who had had elbow surgery in the off-season, has recently made his Tampa Bay debut. They could make up for the absence of Percival, who has saved six games to lead the team but had an ERA of 6.35. Besides, manager Joe Maddon has some experience in going \"by committee\" to compensate for Percival.
I wonder if Price, who we know can certainly \"bring it\" for short periods, is going to eventually be part of that committee, as you`ve got to do what you`ve got to do to win the division.
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