Thursday, March 26, 2009

David Price Sent to the Bulls

Probably the most talked-about topic in the Rays blogosphere and the print media this year was the status of left-hander David Price. The Rays have an open spot in their rotation and the chatter was about who was going to fill it. It won’t be Price. See a couple of comments here, here, and here. It must be a really big deal, it even made the N&O (print edition, very small print).

Here’s my two cents worth:

Will Price be allowed to win any games for us? My guess is only on the days the bullpen is able to back him up. Even if he has a great start in a game, he will very likely be on a very low pitch count. So look for a lot of no-decisions. If he gets in trouble in an early inning, if he sneezes, stubs his toe, gets dinged by a line drive, he’ll be out of there. Last year he appeared in 6 Bulls games and faced 129 batters. He had 2 wins, 1 loss, and 3 no-decisions. The Bulls ultimately lost all three of the no-decisions.

So, I have mixed feelings. I have no doubt he is an extraordinary talent. I am looking forward to seeing him pitch again. On the other hand, last year’s fans will remember the game in June when Montoyo left Chris Mason just twisting in the breeze out there. Mason was getting hammered (25 batters, 13 hits, 1 walk). I’d swear Mason then deliberately hit a batter just so he could get thrown out of the game and get off the mound. No way Montoyo will let that happen to Price.

So, welcome to Durham, David. Here’s hoping that you bring with you a bunch of solid middle relievers. Kind of odd being essentially a set-up man isn’t it?

Several other players we’ve been watching were included in the transaction: Justin Ruggiano, Elliot Johnson, John Jaso, and Reid Brignac. That leaves two players we’ve been watching still with the Rays: Chris Richard and Jon Weber.

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