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Boston Red Sox lefty David Price having velocity issues

By
Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price waits for the ball after New York Yankees batter Carlos Beltran hit a two-run double in the fifth inning of their American League MLB game at Yankee Stadium in New York City, May 7, 2016. Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price waits for the ball after New York Yankees batter Carlos Beltran hit a two-run double in the fifth inning of their American League MLB game at Yankee Stadium in New York City, May 7, 2016. Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- David Price's velocity has been down and it was noticeable during Saturday's 8-2 loss when he was ripped for six runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings.

None of Price's 104 pitches reached 94. Last year for Detroit and Toronto, his fastball averaged 94.9 mph and into October he was at 98.

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"I feel like the more velocity that you have, the more mistakes that you can get away with right now, I'm not getting away with mistakes or good pitches, for that matter, Price said Saturday. "And that's part of it."

The good news is it not physical for Price.

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The even better news is Price might have found the mechanical cause for his slightly diminished velocity of 91 to 92 mph as opposed to his usual 94 to 95 range.

All it took was Dustin Pedroia watching video of his old at-bats against left-handed pitching. During his video session, the second baseman was watching clips of himself against Price and among his findings were his new teammate's hands were staying lower.

"That's not allowing me to get my full leg lift," Price said before Sunday's 5-1 win over the Yankees. "It's been about a half of a leg lift of what I'm used to and it takes away the rhythm of what I do out there on the mound. Whenever my hands stay (down) I have to be able to time it up perfect for me to able to execute that pitch. It gives me no margin of error because I don't have that rhythm."

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By keeping his hands lower, it led to Price not generating enough power for the velocity he has been accustomed to when he pitched for Tampa Bay, Detroit and Toronto. It is something he will correct in conjunction with manager John Farrell and pitching coach Carl Willis before his next start Thursday against Houston.

"I've had a couple of sit downs with David as well," Farrell said. "As we've gone back and reviewed film, there's some things that he's kind of migrated towards with some changes in his delivery. So as a number of people have kind of dove through some video, looked at David currently and compared it with 2013, 2014, there's some definite changes and adjustments that have to be taking place and need to be made.

"This doesn't look like an overhaul but right now he's blocking himself off and not getting to his natural power."

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Things are going reasonably well for the Red Sox. They have one of the AL's top offenses and a winning record.

They just need Price to figure out the mechanics that led to past success and the seven-year contract.

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