Down: David Price
First things first: David Price has mostly pitched very well this season, and deserves recognition for that. Second, there is no chance at all he gets moved at the trade deadline. None. Zip. Nil.
With that said, his placement on the downside of this list is more than well-earned. Yes, it’s based on one start, and one that technically came in July and not June. Yet it was an all-important outing for him, and I, therefore, feel I must break the rules. Like it or not, he had something to prove, not only to the fans but to himself. I am, of course, referring to his July 1 start against the Yankees.
Price has, deservedly or not, garnered an unfortunate reputation for not performing against the one team you absolutely have to perform against if you play for the Red Sox. We all remember that he could not make his previous start against New York because of an injury. Fair or not, due to said unfortunate reputation, many wondered if the injury was real and if he was simply looking to avoid the Yankees. That he was able to make his next start, and pitch well, only added fuel to the fire.
Coming off an admittedly strong June, Price needed to continue his good work against New York. He needed to prove to fans, and perhaps even more to himself, that he could face the Sox bitter rivals and come out on top. Unfortunately he failed that test miserably, and in doing certainly provided his critics with more ammo. His reputation for crumbling in big games and every game against New York is big, remains solidly intact. Dominant performance out of the bullpen in last year’s playoffs notwithstanding, Price still needs to show he can start a game when the pressure is on and deliver like he does in most other starts. Fair or not, that’s a standard he’s yet to reach.