02/27/08 4:23 PM ET
Notes: Price OK after initial tightness
Left-hander skips pitching turn to allow left shoulder to loosen
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
"Feels good this morning," he said of the shoulder.
Price, who was the No. 1 pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, said that he threw earlier in the day, and then when he tried to loosen up prior to the intrasquad game, his shoulder was tight.
"I'm not used to that," Price said. "I'm used to throwing and getting on the mound right away. They're like, 'Hey, don't worry about it. Try it again in a couple of days.'"
Price said his status is day-to-day.
Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said that "setback" would be too strong of a word to describe Price's situation.
"It was just kind of a precautionary thing," Hickey said.
Price's mood was particularly good on Wednesday morning in the aftermath of No. 14 Vanderbilt's upset of No. 1 Tennessee on Tuesday night in men's college basketball. Price, who attended Vanderbilt, was asked if he planned to talk some smack to catcher Mike DiFelice, who attended Tennessee.
"Oh, I don't know, I might say something to him," Price said.
Percival progression: Troy Percival pitched one inning during Tuesday's intrasquad game and the veteran closer reported feeling "outstanding" on Wednesday morning.
"I don't even feel like I threw yesterday," Percival said. "I feel fantastic. I knew I wouldn't feel anything. I was only going about 80 percent, getting my legs underneath me. I think I had that [hamstring] wrapped up so tight, I was losing feeling in my feet."
Percival threw mostly fastballs and changeups, while mixing in one curveball. The big part of any closer's spring progression is when he makes back-to-back appearances. Percival is confident he won't have problems pitching on consecutive days.
"Yes, at some point I'll need to go back-to-back," Percival said. "I can do it right now. So it's just whenever [manager Joe Maddon] puts me out there."
Colorful Mason: Chris Mason is one of the organization's top prospects, as well as being one of the more colorful characters in the system, which was evidenced last season in his choice of hair color.
"I went about three or four different colors [last season]," Mason said. "I just went with what worked. It was like a superstition kind of thing. I was like platinum blond, then I shaved it off, went jet black, to burgundy, and then I went back to platinum blond at the end of the year.
"I wanted to go pink for breast cancer awareness, but my manager, he nixed that. It was just something that was pretty fun. I'm superstitious. I kept it until it didn't work. That was basically the whole gist of it."
This and that: Mason hit infielder Reid Brignac on the right foot in Tuesday's intrasquad game, and Wednesday, the Rays reported the pitch broke the small toe on Brignac's right foot. He did not have on a cast and the prognosis is that he will be back in action in four to seven days. "There's not much you can do for it," Brignac said. "I'll know more in the next couple of days." ... After experiencing visa problems, Willy Aybar finally arrived at camp on Wednesday, more than a week after he was supposed to arrive. "I just want to go out and play baseball," Aybar said. "I'm excited to be with a new team and to show them what I can do." ... Rocco Baldelli played designated hitter in Wednesday's intrasquad game rather than in the outfield. "Everything was fine," Baldelli said. "Nice and smooth." Maddon cited the chilly weather as a reason for Baldelli being used at DH rather than playing in the field. ... Jae Kuk Ryu signed his contract on Wednesday, leaving Scott Dohmann and B.J. Upton as the only two unsigned players in camp. ... In the Rays' second intrasquad game, Foley's Feinsteins beat Martinez's Muddogs 4-0 in a six-inning contest. James Shields and Matt Garza were the starting pitchers. Jonny Gomes followed up Tuesday's impressive defensive effort with an outstanding day at the plate, going 2-for-2, with a double, triple and two RBIs. Shortstop Jason Bartlett also had an RBI triple for the Feinsteins, and Aybar made his Spring Training debut, playing the final three innings.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.