Detroit Tigers Links: Price debuts, staff bonding, pressure on Ausmus


It may have only been for two innings, but fans saw quite the pitching matchup on Friday when Mets’ ace Matt Harvey took the mound versus David Price.

Despite it being his first appearance in 18 months, Harvey had a calm presence while Price was erratic, throwing nearly half his pitches for balls. The wildness from Price was very unusual; he allowed just 15 walks in 77 2/3 innings with the Tigers last season.

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Price contributed his wildness to testing out new pitches he wants to use this season. He still managed two scoreless innings, as did Harvey, and the Mets eventually won, 5-4.

Off the field, Price and fellow ace pitcher Justin Verlander are spending time together. Could the bonding help convince Price to sign a long-term deal with the Tigers?

As Price and Verlander relax off the field, the pressure on second-year manager Brad Ausmus continues to mount. With a very talented squad, again, this season, the expectations are high for the organization.

David Price showcases new curveball, but battles command in wild spring debut – James Schmehl,

"Price walked a batter and threw 14 of his 32 pitches for balls — including a 93-mph heater that struck second baseman Daniel Murphy on the hand. It was an odd debut for a pitcher who walked just 38 batters all of last season, but Price simply chalked up his wild inning as “stuff to work on” heading into his next start.“I just couldn’t slow myself down that second inning,” said Price, who once again confirmed he’s open to signing a long-term extension with the Tigers. “I couldn’t find my release point.”Despite battling bouts of wildness, there was plenty to like about what Price did on the mound in his first spring start. He consistently touched the mid-90s with his fastball, and largely commanded a new curveball, which he recently added to his arsenal. It’s a pitch and grip he learned from Oakland A’s ace Sonny Gray when the two Vanderbilt alums worked out together at Vanderbilt earlier this winter."

Aces Verlander, Price are bonding – Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News

"Justin Verlander and David Price are athletes of like mind and unique abilities, bonded by circumstance and personality. It’s a bond that’s growing, especially on the golf course, where two of baseball’s acclaimed pitchers slice away.They do it for fun, mostly, as evidenced by their sometimes-hilarious attire. They do it to win, naturally. Most important, Verlander and Price golf together a couple of times a week for the same reasons most people do — they enjoy each other’s spirited company. That might be a good sign for the Tigers because here they go again with a star pitcher, Price, entering the final year of his contract, uncertain if he’s found a permanent home.It’s not Verlander’s job to woo Price – Verlander has his own pitching issues to resolve — but building friendships can’t hurt."

Pressure is on Ausmus in sophomore season – Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

"But with talent comes pressure. With pressure come important decisions. With important decisions come results that might blow up in your face and cause you not to be a manager anymore.Welcome to the world of Brad Ausmus. Seven months from now, Ausmus may be the manager who finally led the Tigers to their first World Championship in more than three decades. But he just as easily could be a manager who had two years with the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander and couldn’t win a single playoff game. Option 1, you get a parade. Option 2, you get a one way ticket back to San Diego and a future in baseball as nothing more than a TV analyst."