As the aftershocks of the David Price trade continue to ripple across the baseball landscape, Tigers fans still are trying to understand the meaning and implications of the move. My immediate reaction was mixed, generally because starting pitching seemed like the least of Detroit’s postseason needs, one of the most glaring of which remains a shallow, untrustworthy bullpen with nothing to speak of from the lefthanded side.
While I do think the Tigers should move Justin Verlander to the ‘pen in October, Price may be able to address the team’s relief-pitching deficiencies in his role as a starter. In 2014, Price has pitched more innings and more innings per start than any other Detroit pitcher (numbers from Baseball-Reference):
Price has been going deeper into games this year than any member of the Tigers rotation. If he can continue to pitch into the seventh or eighth inning on a regular basis, that could reduce the number of relievers needed in that game and preserve bullpen options in other games.
The measure of this impact is likely to be small, but like Victor Martinez’s extended plate appearances, these could be the sorts of small advantages that, in the aggregate, push one team past another.
Trade Deadline Explosion – 7/31
Where are the Bats? – 7/31
Detroit finds relief, but at what price? – 7/24
Closing Time? – 6/4
Closing the Book on 2013 – 6/2
Victor Martinez, Professional Hitter – 5/7
Actually Mad Max – 4/29
Waiting for Takeoff – 4/28