Red Sox

Red Sox

This may surprise you, but one of the most deliberate pitchers in Major League Baseball would prefer not to work on a deadline.

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price joined ESPN's "First Take" on Thursday and was asked about the possibility of MLB instituting a 20-second timer between pitches during the regular season, a rule change the league is experimenting with in spring training.

"If it's something that happens, that's something I will definitely be able to adjust to," Price said. "But I feel right now with the 20-second pitch clock -- if the pitcher wants to step off, the clock resets, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me."

The rule already has been implemented in the minor leagues as baseball searches for ways to speed up the game. There are stipulations that soften the rule -- a pitcher just needs to start his windup before the 20-second mark, and the timer never will be used on the first pitch to a batter -- but Price wants a more open dialog before timing pitchers at the game's highest level.

"I feel like it's something that has to be done the right way," Price said. "It can't just be an idea that's thought of last night and we try and make it a rule next week. There has to be conversation on both sides with the players and the union and all the owners.

 

"So, if they think it's going to make the game go five minutes quicker, I don't know. I think fans want to enjoy the experience in the ballpark."

A 20-second limit certainly would disrupt Price's routine. The 33-year-old averaged 26.9 seconds between pitches last season, per FanGraphs, making him one of the 10 slowest-working pitchers in MLB.

But would Price be willing to work a little quicker to help make the game appealing to young eyeballs?

Sure, but it doesn't sound like he'd be thrilled.

"If that's the case, I'm up for it," Price said. "I'll have to go do a little conditioning and whatnot, because that is a pretty rapid pace. But if that's going to help grow that younger demographic, I'm completely fine with it."

MLB isn't pulling the trigger on regular season pitch clocks just yet, so Price is safe for now. If it does, though, perhaps he can take notes from Chris Sale, who averages just 20.4 seconds between pitches in his career.

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