Girardi: Price "extremely strong" candidate to start All-Star Game
American League/Yankees manager Joe Girardi said this afternoon that Rays LHP David Price is an "extremely strong" candidate to start Tuesday's game.
Also, Girardi said he would "not necessarily" favor starting a veteran over a younger pitcher, such as Price, 24, given the stage, but instead "I'll look at the numbers, who I believe deserves to start the game, and we’ll go from there.’’
Price leads the AL with 12 wins, is second in ERA at 2.42 and will be on full rest for Tuesday's game in Anaheim.
"I believe he is a strong candidate,'' Girardi said on an All-Star managers conference call. "Obviously when you look at the five pitchers that we have going, the five starters - and you have to exclude (Boston’s Clay) Buchholz because he’s on the DL - Price, (New York’s Phil) Hughes, (Seattle’s Cliff) Lee, (Boston’s Jon) Lester, and (New York’s Andy) Pettitte, these are all qualified guys. And you look at who’s on turn. Price is leading the American League in wins. He’s an extremely strong candidate. I think he’s second in ERA. He’s had a fabulous first half. And we’ll look at that as we get closer to Sunday.’’
There are three other starters on the AL staff, but New York's CC Sabathia and Oakland's Trevor Cahill will be ineligible to pitch, under a new rule, because they are starting Sunday, and are expected to be replaced on the roster. Cleveland's Fausto Carmona is the other.
Girardi has until Monday's press conference to announce his decision.
Interesting, Girardi also said Rays RHP Jeff Niemann was worthy of selection as well, but there was not room. "There are other guys that are well deserving as well that are probably going to be left off. I look at a guy like Jeff Niemann, who has had a tremendous season. He's deserving of going to the All-Star Game, but there are only so many people you can take.''