David Price just won the Cy Young award, because he's really good at pitching. This caused Dave Cameron to write an article over on Fangraphs claiming that Verlander is a better choice for AL CY Young (I know that Cameron wrote the article before the award was announced, don't try to restrict me to temporally linear causality). Now, usually, when Dave Cameron writes something, I read it, link to it, and take it as the final word. But not this time. Price is my guy, and vicious attacks by intelligent, logical writers who claim he is, by a slim margin, the second best pitcher in the American League must be responded to. Cameron's first and strongest point is about innings pitched. Verlander pitched 238 innings, Price only 211. Because of his impressive stamina, Verlander did in fact personally accumulate more value. Good on him. I can't say that Price could have pitched 27 extra innings (and won't say that he couldn't have), but the simple truth is that he didn't need to. The Rays bullpen was fantastic in 2012 (and the Tigers bullpen was not). The Rays had five relief pitchers with a FIP- similar to or better than Price. Five. The Tigers? Two. And keep in mind that I'm comparing them to the starters' average performance, not their performance late in games, when they're tiring and facing the batting order for the third and fourth time. If Verlander were to come to Tampa Bay and pitch his 238 innings, he would be hurting the team by keeping better relief arms on the bench.
In Defense of David Price
D-Rays Bay | Nov 15