03/27/2013 5:17 PM ET
Price wants staff to go deep into games
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- David Price will be the Rays' Opening Day starter Tuesday afternoon against the Orioles at Tropicana Field.
At that point, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner would like to set the tone for the staff.
"I get the ball first on April 2 and I want to go out there and be efficient and get deep into the ballgame," Price said. "And that's what I've tried to challenge the other [pitchers in the rotation about,] that [pitching five or six innings] is not good enough anymore. We want to get that seven-inning mark, that eight-inning mark. We want to be that team that logs the most seven-inning starts. If we can get the most quality starts, I mean six [innings] and three [runs] is not quality, that's not good enough anymore. That's something we've talked about and we all understand. Getting deep into the ballgames is something we all want to do. This is the Major Leagues and it's tough."
Price will make his last start of the spring on Thursday.
Rays manager Joe Maddon noted that pitching to contact will go a long way toward helping the starters pitch deep into the game.
"If they're trying to miss bats, they're probably going to be out of the game by the fifth inning, more than likely," Maddon said.
Scott progressing, hoping for Opening Day
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Luke Scott believes he'll be ready for Opening Day despite a nagging right calf problem.
"I should be ready," Scott said. "That's my gut feeling."
The Rays' DH, who missed time earlier in camp due to a tight left hamstring, felt a knot in his right calf and has not played since Saturday.
"I don't know, I think he's going to be fine," Rays manager Joe Maddon said when asked if Scott were going to be on the Opening Day roster. "I haven't heard otherwise from [head athletic trainer] Ronnie [Porterfield] to this point. The word at the end of yesterday was that the tightness had abated a bit, but it was still tight."
Scott took batting practice in the cage on Wednesday and felt good about that, as well as the drills he took part in under the supervision of the Rays' training staff.
"I'm walking normal," Scott said. "I did some therapy moves. ... As soon as I can run, I can play. I didn't run today. I jogged and went on the treadmill and did some exercises. Did some different moves on the treadmill and that all went very, very well."
If Scott is not ready to go, Maddon said he does not know who would be called upon to take Scott's place.
"It depends on the length of time, if that were to be the case," Maddon said. "The length matters. It really does when it comes down to making decisions regarding who you would bring up and putting people on or off the roster and things like that. Length does matter."
Molina's playing time to be monitored by Maddon
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jose Molina started 80 games at catcher last season. Having the veteran catcher do the same in 2013 is the goal, so Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked if he planned to use Molina based on who was pitching for the other team, or based on who would be pitching for the Rays.
"Don't want to catch Jose more than three in a row on occasion, so sometimes that's dictated just by that theory alone," Maddon said. "Jose did do a good job last year with David [Price] and his velocity. I don't know. I have a lot of faith in [Jose Lobaton] also. We've been working on some stuff that he's been getting better on right now.
"I would think primarily I would want to go based on the pitching matchup, mindful that you don't want to run Jose Molina into the ground. So you'd have to balance that out a bit. A series begins, you look at the whole week. Sometimes you get a whole week's worth of pitching and you just start jotting down the different times each guy is going to play, so some of it may be based on our pitching matchup, but some of it will definitely be based on opposition pitcher. We do a good job of getting things laid out in avance."
• David Price said he was happy his friend, former Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir, made the Indians' rotation.
"That's pretty cool, man," Price said. "My hat's off to him. He never quit. It was tough for him to do, the struggles he went through -- go through [Independent] ball and go through Winter League and then come to Spring Training his first time back is pretty cool."
Coincidentally, Kazmir's first start will likely come at Tropicana Field.
• Due to the advanced age of this year's bullpen, the duty of carrying the snacks bag -- an honor reserved for the reliever with the least seniority -- will again fall to 26-year-old Jake McGee. The bag contains food, Advil, emery boards and other miscellaneous items.
• Sam Fuld experienced right hamstring problems last season in advance of having another problem this spring.
"Once you scar the tissue it's never the same," said Fuld, who noted that he's learning how to handle the issue.
• Maddon is expected to announce the rotation order on Thursday.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.