Price moved up, will face Yankees next week
Ace to face Angels on Saturday, pitch in Bronx next Thursday
ST. PETERSBURG -- David Price will now pitch in next week's four-game series against the Yankees.
Prior to Wednesday night's game, the Rays announced that they would be taking advantage of Thursday's off-day by moving Price up a day. He will now pitch in Saturday's game against the Angels rather than on Sunday.
To accommodate the move, Jeff Niemann will be moved back a day and will start Sunday's game. Making the move allows Price -- who threw eight shutout innings against the Yankees on Monday night -- to start against the Yankees in New York on Sept. 23.
The Rays told Price about the move several days ago.
"They said it was a possibility," Price said. "I'll work out at my place in Tampa [on Thursday] and be ready to go. [I'll] play catch."
Price said he was happy about the move.
"I get to face New York again, it's fun," Price said. "I'll have a good time -- have another go-around in New York. The last time wasn't so hot. So that will be good."
In his first start of the second half on July 18, Price allowed seven runs in five innings in a 9-5 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Price smiled when asked if he would have been disappointed not to pitch in the series against the Yankees.
"You're really never disappointed when you miss the Yankees," Price said. "It's fun to pitch against the Yankees, but if you didn't have to throw against them, you probably wouldn't be too upset about it."
Crawford not dissuaded by game-ending out
ST. PETERSBURG -- A day after making the last out of the game at third base in Tuesday night's 8-7 loss to the Yankees, Carl Crawford said of the play: "I hope nobody gets too upset, but if that [situation] comes up again, I'm going again."
Crawford's sentiments echoed those of manager Joe Maddon, who staunchly defended Crawford trying to reach third base on a flyout to right field.
Maddon talked to Crawford after the game Tuesday night and told him, "I was with you, man. I was with you all the way."
"[Yankees right fielder Greg Golson] made a tremendous play in that situation, and to beat Mariano Rivera, you better be willing to take chances," Maddon said. "If you want to go about it the old-fashioned way, one base at a time, he's going to beat you 99.9 percent of the time. ... I was all for what Carl did."
Maddon reiterated his feelings about what having a runner at third base would have meant.
"There are so many different ways to score from third base as opposed to second base under those circumstances," Maddon said. "And, again, I am all about us taking chances. I have no problem whatsoever with what Carl did yesterday. I kind of liked it. I actually liked it."
Plenty of mentors for Hellickson in new role
ST. PETERSBURG -- Coming up from the Minor Leagues can be heady stuff for any player given that a lot of what the player sees at the Major League level is new. That particularly applies to Jeremy Hellickson, who has always been a starter but has been relegated to the Rays' bullpen.
Fortunately for Hellickson, there are mentors within the Rays' clubhouse.
Getting advice from other players is helpful -- "Especially coming into the bullpen," Hellickson said. "[That's] something I really don't know much about. I've asked a lot of guys in the bullpen, if not all of them, how to prepare -- what their mentality is once they start getting ready and once they do get out there.
"I mean all the guys we have know what they're doing and have had a lot of success up here. So I've asked them, and it's really helped me a lot. Right now, I'm picking their brains and they're helping me out."
Starters have four days of preparation, while a reliever can get into the game most any night. Among the little tricks Hellickson has learned is that trying to figure out when you might get into the game can help.
"That way, you can get a feel for it," Hellickson said. "You've got to get yourself ready. Basically, they've tried to help me develop a mindset once I do start getting ready -- how to get ready, what to throw. I was talking to Grant [Balfour] yesterday. He tries to think of scenarios when he gets out there."
Chances are Hellickson won't be a permanent fixture in the bullpen. A day after Baseball America announced him as its Minor League Player of the Year, USA Today honored him as such in Wednesday's edition.
Rays Baseball Foundation to honor teachers
ST. PETERSBURG -- Six local teachers who participated in Earthwatch expeditions this summer, thanks to support from the Rays Baseball Foundation, will be recognized at a special awards ceremony before Sunday's Rays-Angels game.
In addition to the expedition experience, each teacher receives a $2,500 award for their school to implement a local conservation project. This is the fifth year the Rays Baseball Foundation has sponsored teacher fellows on Earthwatch expeditions.
This year's recipient list, along with the projects they participated in, includes:
Michele Bubley-Wiehagen, Foster Elementary School, Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas.
Stefanie Frump, Campbell Park Middle School, Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas.
Dawn Grossman, Deer Park Elementary, Costa Rican Coffee from Community to Cup.
Jane Hayes, Belcher Elementary, Costa Rican Coffee from Community to Cup
Laura Katz, Shore Acres Elementary, Songbirds of the Rocky Mountains
Martyne LaDuke, Anderson Environmental Center, Songbirds of the Rocky Mountains
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.