Dustin Pedroia helps David Price pinpoint a flaw in his delivery
05.08.16 at 8:16 pm ET
By John Tomase
David Price had few answers on Saturday against the Yankees. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports)
NEW YORK — David Price spent years battling Dustin Pedroia. Now he’s thankful they’re on the same side.
Pedroia’s video session aimed at examining his own swing instead yielded something unexpected — the possible key to fixing Price.
Manager John Farrell and pitching coach Carl Willis were already on the same path, focusing on Price’s reduced leg kick, but Pedroia provided the final piece of the puzzle, noting that Price’s hands and legs were no longer working in unison.
Whether this is the correction that returns Price to his prior form remains to be seen, but all involved sounded excited about where it might lead.
“I want my hands and my right leg or my right knee to be connected by a string,” Price said. “Whenever my knee goes up, I want my hands to go up. Whenever my knee goes back down, I want my hands to go back down.
“My hands have stayed right here. And that’s not allowing me to get my full leg lift. It’s been about a half of a leg lift of what I’m used to and it takes away you know the rhythm of what I do out there on the mound. Whenever my hands stay here, I have to be able to time it up perfect for me to be able to execute that pitch. It gives me no margin of error because I don’t have that rhythm.”
Price believes that syncing up his legs and hands can lead to more drive and an improved fastball.
“I’m not putting myself in my normal power position, absolutely,” he said. “My leg lift, it at least comes up to my belt if not a little bit higher. And for right now, it’s getting about right [thigh high] — it’s almost a slide step out of the windup. And you know I’ll fix that tomorrow and hopefully Thursday I’ll go out there and I’ll be back to my normal self.”
Pedroia described his role as something good teammates do.
“We’re here for each other,” he said. “You want everybody to do good. Trying to win, man.”
Price is 4-1 with a 6.75 ERA and knows he needs to be better. He actually sounded annoyed with himself for not noticing the flaw himself.
“When he said it, so much stuff clicked. It makes so much sense,” Price said. “To me that’s the most frustrating part. Whatever my ERA is, a 7, or whatever it is, that’s frustrating. But, to know that it’s something so small and to not be able to pick up on that … Even before I pitch every game, I’m watching video and I’m into the things that I see, and to not be able to pick up on that, that’s not like me. It stinks.”
Price reiterated that he doesn’t feel pressure to justify his contract or impress his new teammates. But he’s well aware of his current place in the rotation.
“I’ve been the weakest link,” he said. “That’s unacceptable from my end, but the other four guys, they’ve picked it up. They’ve picked up my slack. That’s what good teams do.”