Following the Rays trade of James Shields, one of the questions was how the rotation would replace Shields’ ability to pitch deep into games. If the comments made by David Price are any indication, he feels that it should be the job of all the starters to go deep into their starts.
“I get the ball first on April 2 and I want to go out there and be efficient and get deep into the ballgame,” Price said. “And that’s what I’ve tried to challenge the other [pitchers in the rotation about,] that [pitching five or six innings] is not good enough anymore. We want to get that seven-inning mark, that eight-inning mark. We want to be that team that logs the most seven-inning starts. If we can get the most quality starts, I mean six [innings] and three [runs] is not quality, that’s not good enough anymore. That’s something we’ve talked about and we all understand. Getting deep into the ballgames is something we all want to do. This is the Major Leagues and it’s tough.”
Joe Maddon noted that pitching to contact more may help. “If they’re trying to miss bats, they’re probably going to be out of the game by the fifth inning, more than likely,” Maddon said. Should the Rays starters be able to follow Price’s example, then they may be able to overcome the loss of Shields without much difficulty.
Speaking of David Price, he announced plans to give away 100 tickets for Opening Day. Details are still being determined, and the giveaway will likely be in the Tampa area between Friday and Sunday, but he does know that he will be posting the information on his Twitter account @DAVIDprice14 . Price also mentioned the possibility to giving away tickets to other Rays games in the future. Those who get the tickets from Opening Day will get to see Price face former Ray Jason Hammel, who went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA last season for the Orioles.
Joe Maddon provided some insight as to how he plans to use his catchers this year. He noted that the goal is to have Jose Molina start roughly 80 games behind the plate again this year, and that he is likely to get a lot of work with Price.
“Don’t want to catch Jose more than three in a row on occasion, so sometimes that’s dictated just by that theory alone,” Maddon said. “Jose did do a good job last year with David [Price] and his velocity. I don’t know. I have a lot of faith in [Jose Lobaton] also. We’ve been working on some stuff that he’s been getting better on right now.
Barring injury, the catching situation is likely to be the same as it was last year. Even though he may not provide much at the plate, Molina made up for that defensively last season. Plus, his rapport for Price certainly adds value beyond what can be seen in the box score.
Finally, an interesting tidbit of information was dug up by Jayson Stark on his Twitter page:
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 25, 2013
With the Yankees multitude of injuries already this season, and the possibility that both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira could be lost for the season, it is possible that the Yankees pay more money to people that do not play for them than the Rays spend on their entire team.