When the Detroit Tigers acquired 2012 AL Cy Young award winner David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays at the end of last month, most fans were ecstatic. There were some, however, who questioned whether another starting pitcher was really what the team needed at the time. Many felt that a left-handed reliever and another left-handed bat would have been at the top of the Tigers’ shopping list.
Nearly three weeks into August, though, it is beginning to look like it is a very good thing that the Tigers acquired another top-of-the-line starter. The Tigers’ rotation has been hit with a bit of bad luck this month, and one does have to wonder where they would be without Price right now. Sure, they would still have Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, but they wouldn’t have much else.
On Aug. 10, the Tigers had to place reigning AL ERA champion Anibal Sanchez on the DL with a pectoral strain, and the original timetable for his return was set at 3-4 weeks. 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP award winner Justin Verlander has also been bothered by a sore shoulder, and although the Tigers are hopeful he will be able to return soon, there is still reportedly a possibility that he could end up going on the DL as well. But even if Verlander’s return is imminent, he has not been having his best year, posting a 10-11 record with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP through 25 starts.
All of a sudden, the Tigers find themselves two games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, and they are now fighting the Seattle Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot. If the Tigers didn’t have Price, their chances going forward would likely be looking even more gloomy.
If the Tigers do happen to hang on to reach the postseason this year, it will likely be thanks in no small part to the acquisition of Price. In three starts with the Tigers, Price has been phenomenal, going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA, an 0.97 WHIP and 23 strikeouts through 22.2 innings pitched. If the Tigers are able to salvage their season, he will likely be one of the biggest reasons why.