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Price Check: Pitcher abuse or "Just good pitching"

In Friday's 10 inning outing, Price threw 137 pitches against Ole Miss hitters. In last weeks 9 inning outing against UIC, Price threw 120 pitches.

Many onlookers see those numbers and say "Oh my, that's too many pitches!" and cry out "Pitcher abuse! Pitcher abuse!"

Not so fast, guys....

Big numbers like this usually scare folks, seeing as you see a 3-digit number starting with a 1 and having a number after that which isn't a 0 following it.

However, doing simple math can do wonders.

Digging a little deeper and taking out a calculator, I calculated David's pitches per inning for both those 100+ pitch outings.

P/9(3/16 Vs. Ole Miss): 13.7
P/9(3/9 Vs. UIC): 13.3

If you look for efficiency for a starter, a "fast" inning is anything 10 pitches and under. For strikeout pitchers(which Price may or may not be, depending on how you look at things), you allow them some leeway.

Price averages 14.2 Ks per 9 and only 1.8 walks per, so his 13-15 pitches per inning isn't as harmful as many people think. In six starts, he's only pitched 45 innings(or 7.5 Innings per start).

Another thing that I'd like to point out is that Price isn't a "blazing fastball type of guy" with his fastball sitting between 89-93 on average. He's K'ing 14 per on finesse, intelligence and off-speed stuff.

Many Rays fans, last year, believed that the Rays made a horrible move by choosing Longoria over Tim Linecum and Andrew Miller. However, you could look at their numbers last year and say that their coaches left them in "a little too long" or "put unneeded strain on a young arm" as bad as some are making Tim Corbin out to be.

Linecum is 5'10"(maybe with a phone book beneath him) and weighs 155 pounds, which is a huge "risk" in itself, with a some "wild"(4.52 BB/9) very unorthodox "sling-shot" like pitching motion(which is some reason for concern) which allowed him to strikeout 14.29 per 9 in his Junior year of college. However, with all things considered, he managed to rack up 125(17 starts and 22 total outings) innings in college and another 31.2 in the minors last year.

Miller is 6'6" and 175 pounds, which makes him very comparable to David in body-type. Andrew had a very fluid pitching motion to go with his 97 mph fastball and was very much known for being a "extreme groundball pitcher" (2.92 BB/9) with some strikeout ability (9.71 K/9) at UNC. Miller pitched 123.1 innings(18 starts and 20 total outings) at UNC and additional 15.1 between the minors/majors.

Now, Price is listed at 6'6" and 215 pounds. He's a "hoss" in very sense of the word, with strikeabout ability and a propensity to induce grounders. He's only 45 innings into his season and 1/3rd of his expected total starts are in the books. If we use his average of 7.5 innings per start over a 17-18 start season, it comes to around 127-135 innings for the season. However, it's very much obvious that his 3 consecutive CGs have something to do with his average outings being almost 8 innings long. With David's size/body-type and pitch-selection/speeds, he's probably the least likely of these 3 to "breakdown."

Now, if we do indeed select Price as our #1 overall pick, I don't think he'd pitch much more than 15-25 additional innings for the rest of the season. 150-160 total innings(college/minors/sometimes majors) for a drafted college pitcher is usually a good amount for their season to finish at, however Price does already have the body-type and mentality of a 200+ IP pitcher.