BSI: The “baseball codes” have come up more than a few times in meetings between these two teams (for instance, David Price’s girlfriend going on Twitter to admonish David Ortiz for admiring a home run off her man). What’s your take on Escobar’s steal last weekend and the Red Sox (over)reaction?
RCG: Price’s struggles have stemmed from him throwing too many hittable pitches. In the past, his stuff has been good enough where he could throw pitches in the zone to avoid walks but still not get hit hard. This season, the velocity on his pitches has been lower than in the past, and thus he has been more hittable. He needs to adjust his mentality and not be afraid to give up a few extra walks if it means that he is going to give up fewer hits.
As far as going outside the organization to get more pitching, that isn’t going to happen. The Rays don’t have the payroll to accommodate more pitching, and they won’t give up the prospects necessary to trade for a pitcher. Erik Bedard has filled in admirably, and with Alex Cobb‘s recent return and Jeremy Hellickson‘s impending return, the rotation should be just fine. If they do suffer another injury, both Nate Karns and Mike Montgomery have been throwing the ball well in Triple-A lately.
As mentioned, the Rays have lined up Price (4-4, 4.42), Odorizzi (2-4, 4.56) and Bedard (2-3, 4.10) in the series. The Red Sox are expected to counter with Brandon Workman (0-0, 3.18), Rubby De La Rosa (making his first big league start) and Jon Lester (5-6, 3.45). A lot could be riding on Lester Sunday with the kids starting the first two games of the series. Let’s see if they can pick up the slack from the overwhelmingly disappointing Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz.