After struggling with efficiency and results in his previous spring starts, today was a huge step forward for David Price. Price had both his fastball and slider working for him, he induced a ton of ground balls, and he was efficient with his pitch count, lasting into the seventh inning while throwing around 80-90 pitches. His final line got besmirched with a hit and home run allowed in the seventh inning, but I'll take this version of David Price any day of the week. 10-2 GB/FB ratio? 5-1 K/BB? Yes, please. This is the Price that the Rays had in mind when they drafted him first overall in 2007, so hopefully he can build off this outing going forward.
Although Price dominated the spotlight today, B.J. Upton and Nevin Ashley gave him a run for his money. Upton and Ashley both went 2-3 with a double, driving in three of the Rays' five total runs. This was Upton's third spring double and although I know it's still spring training, I can't help but get excited that he hit it off Francisco Liriano. Liriano isn't the same after his surgery (91 MPH vs. 94 MPH fastball) , but he's still he's still a potentially above-average pitcher and he's had a nice spring so far.
To finish up the game, Ekstrom and Cormier both pitched scoreless frames. Ekstrom went two innings and struck out three, while Cormier struck out one in his one inning of work. Oh, and Pena and Burrell combined for a wonderful 0-6, 5 K performance. Lovely.