Detroit Tigers: 5 Starting Pitching Questions

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Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher David Price (14) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning in game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

#1: Will The (David) Price Be Right?

Man were we all excited on July 31, 2014.

Sure it was sad to say goodbye to Austin Jackson (well, sad for some because AJax was often slammed by the fans for inconsistency at the plate and in the field) and Drew Smyly but it was David frickin’ Price! Teams do not often grab a guy like that at the trading deadline that can make an immediate impact for the rest of one season and the following season (most deadline deals are for guys who have less than a year left before hitting free agency).

It was a festive, almost second Opening Day, experience when Price started his first game for Detroit, August 5 in New York and he fared pretty well, allowing three runs on eight hits and picked up the victory. But from there is was a pretty rocky road for the former Tampa Bay ace.

He allowed four runs in the next start at Toronto, just one run in each of his next two games, and then eight runs against the Yankees in Detroit. In that game, Price allowed eight straight hits and couldn’t make it out of the third inning.

There were times when David looked every bit the 2012 Cy Young winner and then there were times when he looked like the 2009 version of Dontrelle Willis.

Ultimately when the Tigers needed him most, he stepped up. With the division on the line on the last day of the season against the Minnesota Twins, a team that had just clobbered Detroit pitching all season long, he shut them out for 7.1 innings, allowing just four hits, striking out eight.

One would believe now that he is settled, knows the team and the stadium he should be in for a terrific season. Let’s not forget (unless the Tigers sign him within the next week) he is in a contract year, usually when players are at their best.

His Spring Training has been a bit of a mixed bag as he has been working on several pitches, but he has the confidence of his manager as Brad Ausmus rewarded him with the Opening Day start.

Next: Brad Ausmus showing progress in managerial style