03/07/08 1:14 PM ET
Price ready to make spring debut
Rays' 2007 top Draft pick scheduled to toss inning Saturday
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
When Price experienced initial soreness in his left arm last week, the rookie wasted no time getting his shoulder looked at. At the time he said he wasn't overly concerned with missing early spring action, noting that there would be "another day."
That day has finally come for Rays fans, who have been anxiously waiting for last year's top Draft pick to take the mound.
So has the 22-year-old Price, who was beaming both Thursday and Friday mornings.
"No problems, no stiffness, no soreness," he reported on Thursday. "My arm didn't get tired, and I'm ready to go."
Named Baseball America's 2007 College Player of the Year and the Golden Spikes Award recipient, Price was 11-1 with Vanderbilt last season, posting a 2.63 ERA. His 194 strikeouts were tops in the nation and shattered his own school record from the previous season.
While Saturday will mark the first game action for Price since June, Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday morning that there won't be any meaningful evaluations made.
"Just get out there, have a good old time and throw strikes," Maddon said, when asked what he wanted to see from his young hurler. "Just be a Ray and get his pro career going."
With two shortened games, the Rays are experiencing a logjam of pitchers and Maddon expects Price to go one inning on Saturday.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.