Well, one obvious factor is that he’ll get to face the opposing pitcher instead of a DH every start, which will certainly help lower his ERA. But George A. King III of the New York Post has another, more interesting reason:
When David Price hits free agency following the season, a person who knows him from his time with Tampa Bay said the former Rays pitcher will prefer signing with an NL team because he loves to hit.
Price, who turns 30 years old in late August, is expected to command a contract north of $200 million, rivaling the seven-year, $210 million deal Max Scherzer signed with the Nationals during the offseason. As a hitter, Price has a .230 OPS in 30 career plate appearances and his only two hits are singles. It’s unlikely that the opportunity to take two or three plate appearances every five days will influence where he ends up. In the off chance that an American League team and a National League team both make a similar offer, though, Price might opt for the chance to hit regularly.
Price was terrific through his first three starts, yielding just one earned run in 22 1/3 innings, but he was demolished by the Yankees on Wednesday. The lefty was hit around for eight runs in 2 1/3 innings, bumping his career ERA against the Yankees up to 4.41 in 165 1/3 innings.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.