His start over the weekend went from bad to worse. When he left the game he was charged with 4 earned runs. Then shortly after the game, the official scorer changed an error on Zobrist and that put Price on the hook for 9 earned runs. That put his season stat’s to an abysmal 1W 3L with a 6.25 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He has now given up over 50% of his 2012 earned run total in just 7 starts. Hitters are pounding him to a tune of a .302 average. The major reason for his inflated numbers this year is what he is doing with RISP. Hitters are drilling him to a tune of a .478 average with RISP and 2 outs. In previous years he has dominated in those situations. He has only 1 K in those situations where as in the past he has posted a K 24% of the time.
So what can we attribute his struggles too? His velocity is still there; his walk rate is lower than his career averages and Tampa Bay is putting up Runs for him. He is just losing focus and concentration in critical situations. After winning the AL Cy Young, getting a 6MM raise, an off season where he was in more demand after all the awards I think everything off the field has compounded itself into a mental drain. Then last week we had the Tom Hallion incident where each called the other a liar and Price went to social media to vent his frustrations and look for justification. At this time he has to just concentrate on baseball. Unfortunately I think it gets worse before it gets better.
This Thursday we get a chance to see both former Cy Young winner square off against each other when Toronto travels to Tampa. This will be only the 3rd time in history that both CY Young winners from the previous season square off the following season. Mentally speaking I feel this game is more important for Price and Tampa’s team. I only own Price in one league this year but it was a league where I went out of my normal draft strategy and took Price in round two. I in no way condone taking SP that early and I have learned from the mistake and assure you it won’t happen again. I know there are managers out there that own both Price and Cain; I feel for you and you probably too took the SP route way too early. Learn from your mistake and if Thursday goes bad try and move Price based on last year’s accolades.