March 26, 2009
Check the coverage in the Bradenton Herald:
"It’s a business," Price said. "They’ve got to look out for their best interest. If I was the owner of the team, I would be doing the same thing."
Not that it made Wednesday’s decision any easier.
"It (stinks)," Price said.
He was 2-0 this spring with a 1.08 ERA and 10 Ks in 8.1 innings, so it's not like he pitched his way out of Tampa's rotation.
The team has cited "a need to monitor Price’s innings as well as a need for the young pitcher to improve his change-up." We knew, of course, that the innings would be somewhat limited. It was already factored into his ranking (No. 43 among starters); don't expect that rank to change significantly, if at all.
Over at DRays Bay, they accept the company line on Price's change-up. But the pitcher himself isn't buying that nonsense.
"That was way better than my slider, so I don’t think that’s an issue."
Though he was one of five competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, Price felt the decision was made before camp even started.
"Yeah, absolutely," he said.
Tampa obviously could have limited his innings while keeping him in the majors. This move seems to be about one thing.
When asked if he felt the decision was made to stop his arbitration clock from starting, he said, "I don’t know. ... I know ... They’ll tell you whatever they feel they need to tell you. I’m not getting caught in that."
Honestly, it's difficult to believe this is a readiness issue. You'll recall that the Rays felt Price was ready to get a four-out save in Game 7 of the ALCS against Boston last October. They also considered him ready to face Chase Utley and Ryan Howard with runners on base in the late innings in the World Series. Price is inarguably better than fifth starter candidates Jason Hammel and Jeff Niemann, neither of whom should get a look in fantasy drafts.
Still, the move isn't unexpected, and thus it shouldn't affect your cheat sheet. In head-to-head leagues, where September means everything, this is a total non-event. Rotisserie owners will need to find an inoffensive placeholder for a little while. But when Price arrives, there's a very good chance he'll be outstanding.
If you're participating in a roto league with an easily reached innings limit -- and that describes anyone in a public league -- you'll need to be discerning in the way you allocate innings anyway. Ideally, you'll focus on low-ERA/WHIP pitchers with high K-rates...and that's a fair description of David Price.
He went 188th overall in a draft hosted by the blog editor last night, and that seemed like a steal. If you're looking to trade for him, today's the day.
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