5 things to know about new Boston ace Price
David Price is headed to the Red Sox for a reported $217 million over seven years. Here are five things every Red Sox fan needs to know about their new ace.
1. A fit in Fenway
Price has made 11 career starts at Fenway Park and owns a 1.95 ERA in 74 innings there. That's the lowest ERA he has at any park at which he has made more than one career start. And remember, Price spent the first six-plus years of his career pitching in the division (for the Rays) against some very good Red Sox teams.
2. Racking up K's
Price tallied a Major League-high 271 strikeouts in 2014, then followed it up by striking out another 225 batters this past season. His 496 strikeouts over the past two seasons are the fourth most during that span, behind only Clayton Kershaw (540), Max Scherzer (528) and Corey Kluber (514). Price and Kershaw are also the only two pitchers to top 200 strikeouts in at least four of the past five seasons.
3. Run prevention
Price's 2.45 ERA last season was not only the best in the AL, but also the lowest by a pitcher who played for multiple teams in the same season since John Tudor in 1988. Tudor, who finished the '88 campaign with a 2.32 ERA, pitched his first 21 games for the Cardinals before being traded to the Dodgers for his final nine starts. The Red Sox shouldn't be worried about any type of adjustment period, as the lefty has now finished in the top six in the AL Cy Young Award voting in two consecutive seasons despite pitching for multiple teams each year.
4. Paying for a workhorse
Though some may wonder about the toll it has taken on his arm, no pitcher has worked more innings over the past two regular seasons than Price. The 30-year-old hurler tossed a combined 220 1/3 innings this year after pitching 248 1/3 frames in 2014. That total of 468 2/3 is easily the most in the Majors, well ahead of Madison Bumgarner's 435 2/3 innings. That's a result of not only staying healthy, but also consistently working deep into ballgames. Price has completed at least seven innings in a Major League-best 45 of his 66 starts over the past two years. He's finished at least eight innings in 26 of those outings, also the most in the Majors.
5. Strive for five
The magic number for a victory with Price on the mound seems to be five. Price is 68-1 over his career when his team gives him five or more runs of support while he's the pitcher of record, and that includes a 26-0 mark over the past three seasons. His only loss when receiving five or more runs came as a member of the Rays on Aug. 27, 2012, against the Rangers. Though Tampa Bay provided him with five runs before he departed, Price was tagged for six runs on 10 hits over four-plus innings in an eventual 6-5 loss.