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03/23/08 2:20 PM ET

Price nursing sore elbow

Top prospect to see specialist; Rays say injury not serious

SARASOTA, Fla. -- David Price left a Minor League start Thursday after feeling some discomfort in his left elbow.

"Simply said, that's never a good thing," said Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations. "But all things considered, we're not too concerned. He's going to see [team orthopedic] Koco Eaton [on Monday]. We think it's a minor setback."

Friedman said Price did not have to leave his start early.

Price, 22, was chosen by the Rays first overall in the 2007 June Draft out of Vanderbilt University and was signed to a deal worth $11.25 million late last summer. The stylish left-hander has been impressive throughout Spring Training. After experiencing some tightness in his left shoulder early in camp, he pitched in two games, finishing his spring with a 0.00 ERA while retiring six of the seven hitters he faced, striking out three and hitting one. In the process his fastball was clocked at 99 mph on several occasions.

Price went a long period of time without throwing a baseball in a game after last pitching for Vanderbilt, which Friedman said makes a big difference when trying to get back up to competitive pitching speed.

"Getting back out there and pitching competitively brings out a different adrenalin that goes with it," Friedman said. "It's different than playing catch or throwing bullpens. That's part of the reason we're starting him in Vero and slowing things down a little bit. Let him get his feet under him."

The Vero Beach Rays open their season April 3 at Port St. Lucie.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.