Tag Archives: David Price

Will There be a Recall on Price’s Elbow Diagnosis?

Last week Red Sox fans around the world held their breath as news about David Price’s elbow spread around the league like wildfire. Price was scratched from his scheduled spring training start on Sunday due to tightness in his elbow and forearm. He was immediately sent for an MRI where his results came back inconclusive. Following the MRI, Price headed up to Indianapolis to visit every pitcher’s worst nightmare, Dr. James Andrews.

Embed from Getty Images

To everybody’s surprise, Price came back from his trip to Indianapolis with a smile on his face. Price stated that the trip “couldn’t have went any better.” The diagnosis on his elbow only requires 7-10 days of rest, but more importantly no surgery or injections were necessary. Dr. James Andrews is one of the most renowned surgeons in all of sports, so I believe that Price may be alright for now. What terrifies me is that since 2012, 35 pitchers have visited Dr. Andrews. Of the 35, 28 needed season ending Tommy John surgery. Out of the 7 that didn’t need surgery, 6 ended up having season ending injuries. The odds are not looking so bright for our $30 million pitcher.

Price stated that he has experienced elbow discomfort in the past but this time it was “a little bit more stiff” than previous years. Price has had an amazing track record for staying healthy over the course of his career. The lefty has made at least 27 starts in 7 straight seasons and has tallied over 200 innings in 6 of those 7 seasons. Remarkably enough, Price even said the doctors were really impressed with his elbow saying that “it kind of heals itself.” Price is no longer 25 years old. Now entering his 30s, the Red Sox need to monitor his innings and usage throughout the season.

Embed from Getty Images

Price will be itching to get out there on the mound again, but the Red Sox need to be careful. Even though his arm is okay for now, it may not be for long. Price is the type of guy who needs to be at his peak medically in order to perform to the best of his ability. He is a routine machine. Everything needs to be done the same way, from his pregame rituals to his recovery methods. Many athletes are like this and if something gets in the way to interrupt their routine, then all hell can break loose.

For now it is an encouraging sign that Price should be out toeing the rubber every fifth day, but don’t get your hopes up. An impeding catastrophe is in the works and unfortunately, Red Sox fans are not going to like it. My advice to the Red Sox would be to take it slow. The sox have enough arms to get through the first month without Price. There is no need to rush him back. Make sure he is healthy and ready for a playoff run. I know Price feels as if he needs to prove himself this year, but he won’t be able to prove anything when he’s sitting back watching the team without him.

Advertisements

Top Three Questions Going into the 2017 Season

Fort Myers, Florida is beginning to heat up, as the team that was hotter than hot during the offseason reported to Spring Training today. The Boston Red Sox have begun their journey toward their 9th World Series title, but many questions still remain. Throughout Spring Training we will get a better sense of how this team is going to shape up. From top to bottom it looks to be one of the deepest teams that Boston has ever seen. Get your sunblock and your cameras ready as we take a trip down to Florida to examine the biggest question marks for this year’s Boston Red Sox.

Embed from Getty Images

Question Mark #3- Will David Price have a comeback year in 2017?

$30 million…yes, that is right. David Price was paid $30 million to have his worst year of his career in 2016. Boston is not a place where you can be complacent as an athlete. If you get paid and don’t perform there is a better chance than not that you will be booed out of the stadium every time you step on the field. The passion and love for sports that this city shows toward their teams is unheard of in most places.

Embed from Getty Images

Price has pitched in Toronto, Detroit, and Tampa Bay throughout his 7 years previous to playing in Boston. All three cities do not demand nearly as much as fans in Boston do. I am not trying to make any excuses for Price. He did not perform anywhere close to what his salary is portraying he should perform at. But I believe when he stepped under those bright lights at Fenway Park, he faced a huge culture shock, one that he had never encountered before. I believe that this year is going to be different.

During the offseason the Red Sox acquired White Sox ace Chris Sale. Many eyes in Boston will now be fixated on the Sale rather than Price. This will alleviate some of the pressure, as he was expected to jump right into the rotation and become the ace of the staff in 2016. Not to mention the Red Sox also have last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Rick Porcello, who will be toeing the rubber every 5th day. The Red Sox front office noticed that Price felt the weight of 37,949 Red Sox fanatics on him every time he stood in the middle of Fenway Park. Now with the attention off of him slightly, I believe that Price will be able to hold up to his contract and focus solely on pitching. But make no mistake, Price needs to get off to a fast start in 2017 or Red Sox fans will be calling for his head.

Embed from Getty Images

Question Mark #2- Is Pablo Sandoval going to have a productive year?

The past two years for Pablo Sandoval have been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. After having his worst year statistically and physically he followed up his 2015 campaign by spending 159 games out of 162 on the DL in 2016. Regarded as one of the top third basemen when he played for San Francisco, Sandoval is now fighting for a starting spot with the Boston Red Sox.

Embed from Getty Images

Many questions have been asked about Sandoval’s weight issues. In 2016 “The Panda” came in looking more like sumo wrestler than a baseball player. The weight issues clearly affected his play and health. The word around Red Sox camp is that Sandoval has finally slimmed down and is in the best shape of his life. He has also dedicated himself to becoming a better player than when he won three World Series titles with the Giants. Sandoval said

“My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that he had already accomplished.” Sandoval said. “I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be.”

The first step with any problem is admitting there is one. Sandoval has clearly acknowledged his issues and is working hard to achieve some personal goals he has set for himself. All signs point to Sandoval actually having a comeback year in 2017.

Embed from Getty Images

Question Mark #1- How will the Red Sox lineup coop with the loss of David Ortiz’s bat?

As everybody has probably heard, David Ortiz hung up his cleats at the end of the 2016 season for the last time. Big Papi was a Red Sox legend on the field and off. His presence will be missed tremendously as a leader and as a big bat in the middle of the Red Sox lineup.

Embed from Getty Images

The question remains whether or not the Red Sox have a bat that can replace Ortiz’s. Sorry Red Sox fans but the answer to this one is no. Ortiz made other players around him better, simply with his presence in the on-deck circle. Mookie Betts who hit ahead of him in the lineup for the majority of the season came in second place in the MVP voting. In the offseason the Red Sox signed Mitch Moreland to try and fill the void that Ortiz’s bat has left.

Moreland has decent power, usually averaging around 23 home runs a year and 80 RBIs. Moreland’s numbers are nowhere near the production of Ortiz. But one question still remains, will it even matter? The Red Sox have the deepest pitching rotation in the MLB and their lineup will still score plenty of runs without Ortiz.

Don’t worry Red Sox nation, the Sox will still be World Series favorites no matter what.

Price Promises Playoff Success…HA

“I’m saving all my postseason wins for the Red Sox.”- David Price on Dec. 4th 2015.

HA what a sick joke David. Why would you break my heart again? All throughout the regular season I watched as Price continually disappointed me with mediocre start after mediocre start. The $30 million man did what he does best and broke down once again in the playoffs last Friday night against the Cleveland Indians. Price went 3.1 innings giving up 6 hits and 5 earned runs.  I would hate to be the guy who washed Price’s uniform after his start on Friday, because of the huge load he probably left in it.

Embed from Getty Images

Throughout his playoff career, Price has gone 2-8 with a 5.54 ERA. His regular season statistics are night and day from his postseason performances. Throughout his 9 seasons he has recorded a 121-62 record and an outstanding 3.21 ERA. So what makes Price an All-Star pitcher during the regular season and an incapable wienie during the postseason?

Maybe Price doesn’t have what it takes to pitch in Boston or any high pressured situation. Let’s take a look throughout the career of David Price. Price started with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. During his 6 and a half seasons with the Rays, Price was lights out, becoming a 4 time All-Star and a Cy Young Award winning pitcher. Price enjoyed much of this success because of the lack luster media coverage in Tampa. The Rays are lucky if they can field over 10,000 fans at a game. Most people in Florida are either out on the links or playing shuffle board at a retirement home, not rooting for the Rays at Tropicana Field. Even with the lack of media coverage, we saw Price go 1-4 in the playoffs.

Price was then shipped to Detroit, a much bigger market than that of Tampa Bay. In the Motor-City Price continued his stellar regular season success. In one full season with the Tigers he went 13-8 and kept his ERA under 3. Once the lights got brighter during the postseason we saw the same ole’ Price we are used to seeing. He lost his one playoff start with Detroit and was then shipped off to Toronto during next year’s trade deadline.

Embed from Getty Images

Over in “The 6”, Price continued his ways, putting together a 9-1 record and a 2.30 ERA in just ½ of a season. The Jays took the AL East with the help of Price but once again we saw shades of Price’s old self in the playoffs. In Price’s 4 playoff starts with Toronto he went 1-2 and had a 6.23 ERA. You can see the trend can’t you?

So now that takes us to this year. Boston is known to chew athletes up and spit them out. The media is relentless. Price was not his normal self this year. Even with his 17-9 record and 3.99 ERA during the regular season, we saw Price continually struggle. My confidence in Price was shot half-way through the year but I held out hope because of that quote I posted at the top of the article. Maybe Price was going to change his ways come playoff time…sadly my hopes were crushed once again. In the biggest game of the season, Price struggled to locate any of his pitches and left everything up in the strike zone. Price should stop making false promises and start focusing on winning in the playoffs.

Is it Time to Press the Panic Button?

The Boston Red Sox hit the free agent market hard this off-season, signing the 5-time All-Star David Price. Their front office was not done, when they made a blockbuster trade for flame-throwing closer, Craig Kimbrel. The Red Sox shelled out an absurd amount of money to acquire both these players. Unfortunately for Red Sox Nation, it has not worked out. The $200 million dollar man, David Price, has struggled out of the gates, putting up an abysmal 7.06 ERA. Along with Price, comes Kimbrel who has taken over the 9th inning role from Koji Uehara. Kimbrel’s problems have fans doubting his ability to close out games. So is it time for Red Sox Nation to start panicking?

HELL NO!

Come on people, have some faith. Let’s start with David Price. I understand that Price is getting paid $31 million per year and has not lived up to any of our expectations. When Price steps on the mound, fans expect to see the Cy Young Award winning pitcher. Recently, we have seen a shell of that. But it’s early; in fact it is way too early to be concerned. On April 22nd 2015, Price pitched in a game against the New York Yankees, in which he could only go 2.1 innings and gave up 8 earned runs. Just one year later on April 21st 2016, Price was rocked for 8 earned runs in just 3.1 innings. Are you guys catching my drift? Price doesn’t pitch well during April. He’s typically slow out of the gates and needs time to find himself throughout the season. After his performance against the Yankees in 2015, Price went on to record ERA’s of 2.49, 2.02, 2.25, 2.28, and 2.32 in the months of May, June, July, August, and September respectively. Price is going to be okay, and his slow start will be a thing of the past.

Up next on the list of concerns comes Craig Kimbrel. Unfortunately, I am not as confident in Kimbrel as I am with Price. Yes, it is early like I stated previously, but what concerns me is his downward trend in statistics. Last year with the San Diego Padres, Kimbrel’s ERA shot up from 1.61 in 2014 to 2.58 in 2015. ERA is not my only concern either. Kimbrel’s location on most of his pitches has been sporadic. In his 9 innings on the mound for the Red Sox, Kimbrel has walked 5 batters. Yes, again I understand that this is a small sample size, but Kimbrel has always been known to have great control. In his 6 year career, Kimbrel’s Walks per 9 Innings has never exceeded 3.8, this year it is at 5. It also seems that Kimbrel is getting behind in many counts. This allows batters to sit in and expect fastball. When Kimbrel is at his best, he is throwing his fastball for strikes and then putting the hitter away with his sharp slider. Kimbrel’s stuff is still there. He is consistently reaching 99 MPH on his fastball and his slider is absolutely filthy, but that doesn’t matter in the Major Leagues if you cannot locate your pitches. Kimbrel is still one of the best closers in the game, but he needs to turn things around quick if he wants Red Sox Nation to stand behind him.

Here in Boston we jump to many conclusions. If the Patriots lose, Brady needs to be traded. Or if the Red Sox lose a big series against the Yankees, then the coach needs to be fired. The passion for our sports teams is uncanny, but let’s just take a deep breath and buckle in, because this season has barely taken off.

A beat-up Buchholz

Embed from Getty Images

With the Red Sox signing David Price and having him be their ace for years to come, I think Boston just killed two birds with one stone.

1. They finally have someone who can anchor the staff for the first time since Jon Lester.

2. Clay Buchholz doesn’t have worry about being the number 1 in the rotation anymore.

When the 2015 season began, the Red Sox were in Philadelphia for Opening Day. Manager John Farrell chose Buchholz to be the Opening Day starter, hoping that he can stay healthy and be their ace all season. As Buchholz trotted to the mound in the bottom half of the first, I was already pleased with his performance because he didn’t pull a hammy on his way to the mound. Buchholz actually had everyone raising their eyebrows after he twirled 7 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and one walk while the Red Sox gave him plenty of run support in the 8-0 victory over the Phillies. Sox fans thought that this was the year that Clay was ready to prove everyone wrong, stay healthy, and have people think that whenever he’s on the mound, his team his going to win.

You’ve got to remember that Clay’s stellar performance over the Phillies…was against the Phillies. Philadelphia has been in complete rebuild mode for the past 3 seasons ever since the Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Cliff Lee era slowly disintegrated. Ever since trading away their core pieces that brought this organization so much success like middle infielders Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, the only players that may put fans in the seats now is veteran slugger Ryan Howard and young outfielder Odubel Herrera, who hit just under .300 in 147 games. So with Buchholz pitching a gem against a JV lineup, fans should have waited to jump on the “Buchholz Bandwagon” and see how he did against actually contenders.

The 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox was a joke. The pitching was a joke and when the offense started off slow and couldn’t support the third worst rotation in the American League, you weren’t going to see the best results. But right before the All-Star break, the Sox won 4 straight heading into the last series vs. the first place New York Yankees. Boston was just 4.5 games out of first place at the time, so if they were able to take 2 games in the series or maybe sweep their arch rivals, they would have a lot of momentum going into the second half of the season. A red hot Clay Buchholz had won 4 straight outings and was getting the ball for the first game of the series. Fans were hoping he was ready to make the next step of being an ace by delivering a W in a big game like this.

A solo home run by Alex Rodriguez in the top of the first was just the beginning of this never-ending roller coaster. In the top of the fourth, Buchholz delivered an off speed pitch to former teammate, Stephen Drew. After the pitch, he told catcher Sandy Leon to come to the mound. As Leon jogged to the mound from home plate, John Farrell and the trainer began to follow, along with the infielders. As everyone was huddled up around Buchholz, Farrell then made a signal to the bullpen and just like that, his game was done. At the time, that was the biggest game of the season and the lights were all on Clay Buchholz. That was his chance to change people’s outlook on him and as usual, the injury bug got to him and he was placed on the 60-day DL with a right elbow strain, and ending his season.

Now throughout Buchholz’s career, there has always been one thing that has been his kryptonite and that is…well…anything, if you think about it. When I scrolling through Twitter one day, I came across something that really defined Clay Buchholz in a nutshell. It was a list of all the injuries he has sustained throughout his career. Now, some of you may think it’s silly to start a list of his past but when you look at these numbers, you come to wonder why the Red Sox still keep this guy around.

2008: 16 games missed with a right fingernail tear.

2010: 18 games with a left hamstring strain.

2011: 93 games with a lower back stress fracture.

2012: 20 games with esophagitis.

2013: 82 games with right shoulder bursitis.

2014: 28 games with a left knee hyperextension.

2015: 75 games with a right elbow strain.

If you add those games up, the total amount is 332 games missed over 7 trips to the disabled list. That’s over 2 seasons where Clay Buchholz has been on the DL throughout his 9 seasons in the MLB. And yet, the Red Sox will be paying him around 13 million dollars in 2016.

Now people always think of the 2013 season where he put up by far his best numbers. In the first half of the season, he went 9-0 with an ERA of 1.71. At the time, an obvious all-star and the front runner for the Cy Young award. But after suffering right shoulder bursitis and being shut down for a good chunk of the second half of the season, he was never the pitcher he was once before the All Star break.

With Price now being the obvious number 1 in the rotation for the Sox, 2-5 are still up in the air. With Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens, and Joe Kelly fighting for those last 4 spots, you wonder if the Red Sox will ever stop looking at Buchholz as a top of the rotation pitcher and just make him a number 4 or 5 in the rotation.

People have to stop remembering what Buchholz once was and accept that he has already hit his peak. When he’s healthy, he can be one of the best pitchers in baseball. I just don’t think it is necessary to pay the guy that much money for a good month or two of pitching and then making his yearly trip to the DL. But that’s just my opinion.

David Price is heading to Beantown

Embed from Getty Images

What is that?!

It’s a bird?! It’s a plane!?…yup, it’s a plane.

But that plane is bringing over someone who is about to become the richest pitcher in Major League baseball history. On Tuesday, December 1st, the left handed flamethrower, David Price, decided to sign with the Boston Red Sox for 7 years worth 217 million dollars.

Yup, you read that right.

217,000,000 dollars.

He surpassed Clayton Kershaw for being the richest pitcher ever by 2 million dollars. A lot of fans think that President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, went way overboard on signing Price. But did he really?

Price was one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in the free agent market this year. People knew he was going to be expensive to play for any team. But the Sox weren’t going to let him go. They wanted Price to know that he’s worth the amount of money they offered him. There were reports that the St. Louis Cardinals were in the hunt for Price, and he was actually going to choose them before Boston offered him the mega deal.

Do I think that Boston should make one more trade for a good number 2 pitcher in the rotation? Yes. Because, as of right now, we have a number 1 and a bunch of number 3’s and 4’s. I like Eduardo Rodriguez being in our rotation with Price for the next few years. I wouldn’t be upset if they gave away Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, or Wade Miley plus an outfielder, and a prospect or two to a team that gives us back a good quality pitcher to back up Price.

I know I am beating a dead horse right now, but what was Boston’s biggest problem last year? Pitching. So why not get arguably the best closer, Craig Kimbrel, and one of the best starting pitchers in the game, David Price. Also, Price has been dominant in his career at Fenway Park. His 1.95 career earned run average there can speak for itself. He said before, however, that he doesn’t like Boston’s fan base. But who would like them if you are the away team? Now that the fans will be with Price than against him, he will see how supportive they are and that they will feed off his energy on the mound. Price is now the ace of the staff that we can rely on for years to come, hopefully.

Price can opt out of his contract after his third year and leave Boston if he chooses. But hopefully he can lead the Sox to a championship and want to stay in Boston.

That’s another thing people are questioning. Price’s playoff struggle. His career record, 2-7 with a 5.12 earned run average is Price’s kryptonite so far in his career. But how about we worry about getting in the postseason first before thinking about Price’s playoff woes. He is dominant in the regular season and can carry a team to the playoffs; he proved that last year in Toronto and for most of his years in Tampa Bay. Besides, there was a pitcher who was known to be a choke artist back in 2001. Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson. Going into the 2001 National Championship Series where the Diamondbacks were going to play to the Atlanta Braves, Johnson had lost his last 7 straight outings through the 1990’s and that years Divisional Series.

You want to know what happened next?

Johnson helped lead the D-Backs to the World Series going to 2-0 with an 1.13 earned run average in that series. Then in the World Series, he went to go 3-0 with an earned run average of 1.04 and being named C0-MVP with teammate, Curt Schilling.

What I am getting at is that pitchers can change their destiny. That’s what David Price has the opportunity to do in Boston, show that he can pitch in October and bring anther championship to Beantown.

To the Red Sox fans who thought we paid too much for the soon-to-be Opening day starter, the price was expensive, but the Price was right.

#FarewellPapi?

Embed from Getty Images

Is it a good thing for the Boston Red Sox that David Ortiz is retiring after the 2016 season?

The Red Sox slugger officially announced that he will be retiring and ending his successful career after the 2016 season. His postseason heroics, regular season milestones, and friendly personality toward Red Sox nation will be remembered forever. Will you be seeing a plaque with Big Papi’s name on it in Cooperstown in a couple years? My guess is yes.

Now we all know the good side of Big Papi. But there is also an ugly side. I know the fans love the guy, but you can also see him as a “diva.” When he gets into slumps, he won’t run out ground balls when his one job is to hit and he will also throw the occasional temper tantrum in the dug out.

Back in 2014, Ortiz said he wasn’t going to have a “retirement tour” like what former rivals, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, did when they announced their retirement prior to their final season. Seems like Big Papi changed his mind and decided to be the center of attention…again.

So what if I said it was a good thing that Ortiz was gone after 2016? Think about it. It actually was perfect timing with Ortiz announcing his retirement so early because new President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, knows that $16 million will be off the payroll indefinitely. With that being said, he will know how much money he can spend accordingly on a true ace for the rotation.

Also, if former shortstop, to third baseman (back to shortstop),to left fielder and now current first baseman, Hanley Ramirez doesn’t get dealt to another team and stays with the Sox until 2017, he will become the designated hitter for the future. I think we can all agree that the Red Sox chances to win any game increases dramatically when Hanley isn’t on the field attempting to play defense. Also, Hanley’s numbers as a DH are great because he just has to focus on hitting and not embarrassing himself in front of the Fenway Faithful. In just 11 games played where he was the DH in 2015, he hit .319 while belting 5 homers and collecting 11 RBI’s. We know Hanley is injury prone. We can’t control that. But if he just hits, then there is also a chance he will stay healthy more often and not run into the Green Monster and blow out his shoulder. Also, we can focus on signing an actual first baseman for 2017.

All of you know that one of the biggest pitchers on the market this winter is lefty flamethrower, David Price. If you don’t know, David Price and David Ortiz have a history where they aren’t too fond of each other. Price hit Ortiz on purpose a couple years ago and it just hasn’t been the best relationship since. But Price and Ortiz are veterans now and even if it’s Big Papi’s last season, he wants a championship. The Red Sox have been in the basement of the A.L. East now for the last 2 seasons and they are in a “win now” mentality. You can see that with the Craig Kimbrel signing, so I think that if Price and Ortiz can set aside their differences for one year, Price would be a great fit for Boston for multiple years to come. The Red Sox need an ace and with Price having a career ERA of 1.95 at Fenway Park, pay the man as much money as possible to get him to Boston.

David Ortiz will be remembered as legend in Red Sox Nation. I just think that he wanted it to be all about him. I like it when I root for a player that is confident, but there is a big difference between confident and cocky. That is exactly what Ortiz is. A cocky player that shouldn’t be surprised when he gets an occasional 95 mile per hour heater a little too inside for his liking.

When the 2016 season comes to an end, I wish nothing but the best for Ortiz and his life after baseball. You will be hearing his name again when he will be, in my mind, a first ballot Hall of Famer. But I am confident that the 2017 Boston Red Sox will be ten times better without Ortiz in their everyday lineup.

We’re just going to have to wait and see.