The second issue should sort itself out, as Price’s history tells us that his velocity will ramp up when the weather heats up. The native of Tennessee spent the bulk of his career in sunny Tampa Bay, so there may be some truth the notion that the weather has effected him. We’ve had an unusually chilly spring thus far and Price has pitched in some poor weather conditions where it was either cold or raining, or both.
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We expect that Price’s velocity will pick up as we head into the summer months, but what if it never reaches his typical career levels? He’s now over 30, an age where power pitchers have been known to lose a little on their fastball. Not to suggest that Price has completely lost it already, but this could be a sign of a steady decline where we’ll see him lose a little bit each year until the 91-92 MPH we’re seeing now becomes his new normal. Can he continue to be an ace caliber pitcher with that type of velocity? Not based on what we’ve seen this year.
This is Year One of a seven-year deal that Price signed with the Red Sox last winter. When you sign a pitcher his age to a long-term deal you expect to pay for some regression on the back end, but the hope is that the elite performance you receive in the first few years of the deal makes up for it. If Price’s tenure with the Red Sox is starting out this poorly, what’s it going to look like near the end of it?
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