When the Red Sox announced they had signed David Price for 7 years and $217 million I was excited. The lefty has electric stuff and the Sox desperately needed an ace in order to stay competitive in the division. Then April and May happened. Price did not pitch like an ace, except for one or two starts, and had an era that ballooned to 6.75 on May 7th after 7 starts. The restlessness began to get uncomfortable and thoughts of wasting $30 million a year crept into my mind.
Then things started to improve. Since May 7th, Price has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in an outing and has posted a 2.47 era, dropping his season era to 4.33. In his last three games he has finished the 8th inning and with a little run support, would be 3-0 in those starts instead of 1-2. He has returned to ace form.
Because I can never be fully satisfied, my main concern around Price going forward are the HR balls he keeps allowing. In his last 5 games, all 10 earned runs Price has allowed came on the long call, including one on Sunday that was wrapped around the Pesky Pole. All of 2015 Price only allowed 17 HRs in 32 starts and in 2016 has allowed 13 in just 15 games. If he can figure out how to keep the ball in the ballpark, he will be fine going forward.
In order for the Red Sox to make and compete in the postseason, Price needs to pitch to his ability like we have seen the last handful of starts. The team still needs at least one more starting arm, but at least the top of the rotation is set.