By: Jake Perda
Don’t get me wrong, I do not approve of David Price’s attitude or his actions. Quite frankly, I think he’s currently the biggest scumbag in the state of Massachusetts. But I’m sick of talking about David Price the person. I want to talk about David Price the baseball player. The David Price that went 8 shutout innings against Yankees lineup that simply doesn’t get shutout. Whether you like it or not, the Red Sox need David Price in this rotation if they want to be a serious World Series contender.
When you take David Price out of the mix, you go into the postseason with a 4-man rotation of Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez. For those of you who want to point to Price’s lack of postseason success: Guess what? Out of these 4, only Porcello and Pomeranz have postseason experience, and do you remember how that went? Let me remind you. Porcello has a career postseason record of 0-3 with an ERA of 5.66, including last year's ALDS Game 1 start in which he allowed 5 earned runs in just 4 ⅓ innings. As for Pomeranz, his only postseason experience comes from last season when he came out of the bullpen and allowed the knockout blow on a 2-run home run by Coco Crisp. That being said, I’ll take my chances with David Price, who has the best raw talent out of anyone in this rotation not named Chris Sale.
Not to mention, it’s very possible that this team could miss the postseason entirely if not for the return of David Price. Regardless of how well Doug Fister has pitched in his last two outings, he’s still Doug Fister, and David Price is still David Price. Anyone who claims that they feel more confident in Doug Fister than Price is just plain stupid. This is, of course, assuming that David Price is healthy if/when he does come back. We are all painfully aware that Price’s UCL is hanging on by a thread and could essentially give out at any moment. However, if David Price feels as though he is capable of going out and doing his job, he is a far better option than Doug Fister.
In the wake of Price’s recent off-field incidents, people seem to forget that he’s been a good pitcher this season. Despite a few rough starts, his ERA currently sits at 3.82 and the team is 6-5 when he takes the hill. Translation: More often than not, when David Price is pitching, the Red Sox are going to win the game. That’s what this team needs over the course of the last 2 months if they intend on maintaining their first place status in the American League East. Sure, Price is an asshole who will blow up on the fans and media every now and then, but that doesn’t negate the fact that this team needs him to be successful.
David Price has yet to begin any sort of rehab assignment, which we can assume will be necessary, so it's hard to put a timetable on his return. Will he be back by the time September rolls around and the Red Sox postseason fate is on the line? Hopefully. If not, we will be forced to put our eggs in the very unreliable basket of Doug Fister. If that doesn’t scare you, then I don’t know what will.
Photo: (Metro US)