Price, as usual, was 95% fastball/slider. He showed his spike curveball and changeup once or twice, but they were all wasted for balls.
I’d say he found his slider. Like last year, it averaged a velocity of 86-88 miles per hour. While Price doesn't generate significant horizontal movement, he actually got the ball to dive more in yesterday's start than he did on average last year. He releases his slider a couple inches farther from his body than he releases his fastball on average. There aren't many sliders thrown at 86-88, especially from the left side. Last year, Francisco Liriano and Randy Johnson threw the hardest sliders among left-handers. Both of them had little horizontal movement, like Price, and Liriano's and Johnson's sliders actually generated less vertical movement than Price's has. Nevertheless, all of these sliders have solid reputations and they have all accounted for above-average run values, which can now be found on Fangraphs. Swinging at Price's slider simply isn’t a good idea. Out of eight swings on his sliders, there were five fouls, two misses, and one pop out. However, when batters took the slider, only two called strikes were called out of twelve pitches. If he can locate the slider down in the zone, I believe it would be nearly untouchable.
His fastball averaged 96 MPH, which, for a starter, for a lefty, and for a human whose arm must follow the laws of biomechanics, is positively exceptional. The movement on it is nothing to write home about, though, in my opinion.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
David Price Last Night
Jeremy Greenhouse of The Baseball Analysts had this to say about David Price's slider and fastball last night:
-- By Doug at 4:32 PM