Spring Fling? David Price Reunites With The Slider | The Process Report

Spring Fling? David Price Reunites With The Slider

One of the tougher things to navigate through during spring training is determining what could be an interesting footnote and what is simply lip service. Aside from the “best shape of my life” comments, players will routinely say something they did in a particular game felt better than it has in some time. On Saturday, David Price provided us with this quote after his start against the Philadelphia Phillies:

“The best my slider has been probably in two years. Pretty exciting.”

Recently, we looked at Price and the potential to increase the use of his change-up this season. In addition to the work on the offspeed pitch, there was a brief mention about the declining usage of his slider -which appeared to go missing between the 2008 and 2009 seasons. According to Price, his former college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, showed him a new slider grip this offseason that feels more comfortable than the old one.

As mentioned in the previous article, Price arrived to the league with a dominating fastball/slider combination. We saw just how good the tandem was during the 2008 playoff run. Once he rejoined the rotation in 2009, Price threw his slider nearly 20% of the time; however, it lacked the  signature bite we once saw. This slider did not fool many batters or induce many swings and misses. Overall, the pitch’s effectiveness ranked toward the bottom of the league according to pitch values (min. 120 innings pitched).

Last season, the pitch rebounded with positive pitch value. On the other hand, he reduced the pitch’s usage by nearly 15%. The former go-to-pitch after the heater, Price favored his curveball and change-up more than the slider in 2010.

Based on one outing in mid-March, we cannot determine if the slider will once against be a weapon for Price; however, after watching a few video clips, the sharp movement he showed on Saturday (inside to righties, outside to lefties) would be a welcomed addition to his ever-expanding repertoire.

There is not much to look forward to in spring, but Price “finding” his slider would qualify as such if we see it translate over to the regular season. With a dominant fastball,  a work-in-progress change-up, and the potential for two breaking balls, the thought of Price throwing three or four above-average pitches is as the lefty said himself “pretty exciting.”

One Comment

  1. jasoncollette wrote:

    Since he’s been on record in the past about “wanting his slider back,” this could be a very good thing.

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