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« Down the Wells | Main | Jack Cust: Two True Outcomes Hitter »

David Price's Diminished Hook

David Price takes the mound tonight for the Rays in Yankee Stadium, bringing with him a 9-10 record with a 3.89 ERA.  One of the problems he's faced this year has been the lack of bite on his curveball.  He's yielded 17 hits off his curve including 5 doubles, one triple, and 2 HRs.

David Price Curveball
2010 Season520.262.359.32980.5%4.2%
2011 Season271.298.526.32681.6%20.0%

While a small sample size caveat applies with the above numbers, PitchFX data indicates he may not be getting quite the same break on his hook as he did last season:

David Price Curveball Movement
2010 Season4.4-6.5
2011 Season3.7-4.7

The most glaring change has been the reduction in downward movement on Price's curve. In 2010, the lefty was getting 6.5 inches of downward break resulting from the spin on the pitch (BrkZ); this season, he's getting nearly 2 inches less of movement on it. In addition, Price has also seen a drop in left to right movement on his curve.

Right-handed hitters have done most of the damage against his curveball this season, going 14 for 37 with a .591 slugging percentage. With 6 RHB in the New York Yankees' lineup tonight, it will be interesting to see just how much Price utilizes that curveball.

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