After dominating in his first start of the season, David Price is showing he’ll be a strong contender to win the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award for 2018. Shit, he might even win a Cy Young for the Red Sox this year. Alright, I’m getting too far ahead of myself now, but I think he’ll be very good.
David Price is coming off an injury-riddled 2017 campaign where he only pitched in 16 games (11 starts). He finished the season 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA. When Price returned from injury in September he was used out of the bullpen and became an instant asset for the Sox, who also had the second best bullpen ERA in the league. Not to mention he was elite for the Red Sox in the playoffs out of the pen against the eventual World Series Champion, Houston Astros. Price appeared in two games of the ALDS against the Astros, pitching 6.2 SCORELESS innings with a 1.050 WHIP and 6 K’s. The guy was just unreal.
I believed coming into this season, Price would be a huge difference maker for this Red Sox team. I am very much looking forward to watching Price take the ball every fifth day. Since he entered Boston with the highest contract ever rewarded to a pitcher, Price has faced a lot hate from the fanbase and media because of his performance and the way he has acted. But when talking about his performance, he hasn’t really been that bad. He had a rough couple starts to begin his Red Sox career, which put a bad taste in people’s mouths, but since then he has been pretty electric. He was a 17-game winner in 2016, giving the Sox 230 innings. And he looked good when he pitched last year. Not to mention he showed balls in his playoff appearances last postseason and proved he is cut out for October after all. Yeah, I know he still doesn’t have a playoff win as a starter, but he proved to Boston that he isn’t shying away from the spot in the postseason. Hot take, he wins a playoff game for the Sox this year. I said it.
David Price pitched lights out against his former club, the Tampa Bay Rays, in his first start of the season. Price went 7 innings, allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out five. He only threw 76 pitches… 76! Price is at his best when he is in attack mode. When Price is confident in his ability and his stuff, he uses his fastball and goes right after hitters. And that’s exactly what he did against the Rays.
I loved what I saw out of Price in his first start. And yeah you can say whatever you want about how the Rays look like a AAA team, but he was still dominant and so efficient. I’ve been saying all offseason that Price is the true X factor for this pitching rotation and club in general. We all know what the Sox will get from Chris Sale, that’s no question. The other members of the Red Sox rotation feature former Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello, who struggled last season but looked good in his first outing this year. Drew Pomeranz was an all-star in 2016 and was 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA last year. And then between Eduardo Rodriguez, Brian Johnson, and Hector Velazquez, the Sox are deep with starting pitching. But none are more important to the team’s success this year as David Price.
After the disappointing season Price had last year due to injury and issues with the media, I believe all of that is past him and he will use that as fuel to his fire this season and bounce back bigger than people expect. Comeback Player of the Year is in his grabs, but that’s not the most important reward he’ll get. The bigger reward? 2018 World Series Champion.
Prediction: Price will go 15-6 with a 3.45 ERA.
David Price is back.