David Price Works On Delivery; Matt Joyce Starts Versus Lefty Lester | The Process Report

David Price Works On Delivery; Matt Joyce Starts Versus Lefty Lester

After taking two days off – one unscheduled – the Rays will face the Red Sox in front of a national television audience this afternoon. Because of the off day, and then the postponed game, Tampa Bay has juggled its’ rotation a bit. Staff ace David Price will jump in front of Alex Cobb and start today with Cobb pitching tomorrow. Jeremy Hellickson’s start has been moved from Sunday to Monday. Roberto Hernandez and Matt Moore will follow in line.

Today’s starter, David Price, has been a bit off to start the season. This was evident in his start last Sunday when he allowed eight runs in five innings of work against the Indians. Looking to get back to what drove him to the American League Cy Young award in 2012, Price worked on some delivery-related issues in his bullpen session between starts. From TBO.com:

“We talked about some stuff and kind of toyed with some things in the pen,” he said. “I can’t give away my secrets, but I did switch some things and it felt a lot better and it’s back to what the ball was doing last year.”

From the outside looking in, I found a minor difference between Price 2012 and the Price we saw last weekend against Cleveland. Take a look at the image below…


On the right (2012), you can see that Price finishes with his right leg located within the boundary of the mound rubber. Meanwhile, on the left, his foot is outside of the rubber and closer to first base. It looks like it his toe may be angled toward first as well, but that could just be a timing issue with the screen shot.

If the foot placement is not easy enough to spot, then check out Price’s body in relation to home plate. In the 2012 image, home plate is barely visible. In 2013, you can see more than half of the dish. It is unknown if this was one of the tweaks Price worked on or if this change has any impact at all; however, it may be something to keep an eye on today and moving forward.

Also worth keeping an eye on is the bottom of the Rays’ order versus Jon Lester; specifically Matt Joyce batting ninth and making a rare start against a left-handed pitcher. As constructed, the Rays are forced to start a left-handed batter versus a southpaw. With that in mind, the lefty hitter is picked based on matchups. Lester versus Joyce is something we have talked about before on the Process Report, citing the Danks Theory as a potential source of reasoning.