7/1/2013 8:27 P.M. ET
Rays facing Astros for first time as AL foes
By Glenn Sattell / Special to MLB.com
HOUSTON -- This is the first time the Rays will be facing Houston as an American League team and that presents some problems with preparation.
"It's unusual, you've got a lot of different names, a bunch of guys you're not used to seeing or playing against," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I watched them a little bit on TV. They've been playing on the West Coast. I saw them against the Angels, so I have an idea what some guys look like."
Maddon said that despite their record, he is impressed with the development of the AL's newest member.
"They have some really interesting young talent," he said. "They have some really athletic people out there and over the last 40 games they're playing about .500 baseball. So people can say what they want, this group has already shown signs of getting better."
Price excited for Tuesday return from DL stint
HOUSTON -- After being sidelined 44 games with a left triceps strain, reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price will be activated to start on Tuesday in Houston with a corresponding move to be determined.
Price said he likens Tuesday's start to Opening Day.
"Absolutely, that's the way I'm approaching it," he said."I feel extremely good right now. I just want to continue to work hard and continue to use our trainers the way I have always and just expect better results."
Still, the butterflies will be present when he takes the mound. "Absolutely," Price said. "There's nothing like pitching in big league ballgames. It's fun; it's a blessing; there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. So to not go out there with butterflies would be kind of shocking."
Longoria itching to return, avoid DL for foot injury
HOUSTON -- Evan Longoria continues to deal with a nagging foot injury that finally sidelined him on Friday.
"I don't have any answers as to when I'll play but I'm going to make a bid for them not to make any moves and then play, hopefully in the next couple of days," Longoria said Monday. "I'll be able to pinch-hit [Monday night]. I want to play [Tuesday]. So I'll talk to Joe [Maddon] and see how that goes. A couple of lefties the next couple of days, so I really want to play."
Longoria has been frustrated by the setback but said he believes he's about ready to return to the lineup.
"It's tough for them and myself to make decisions on the lineup," Longoria said. "I don't want to go out there and not be able to run and do the things that I can do.
"So, we're stuck in limbo. I hope to play in the next couple of days."
Longoria said he doesn't anticipate going on the disabled list; "I'm going to try and make them hold off on that as long as they can."
Myers hits third for Rays with Longo sidelined
HOUSTON -- Wil Myers continues to swing a hot bat. So with Evan Longoria out of the lineup with a foot injury, Rays manager Joe Maddon had no problem moving up the rookie outfielder to the No. 3 slot in the batting order for Monday's series opener at Minute Maid Park.
"Part of it is based on the fact that Longo is hurt," Maddon said. "If Longo wasn't hurt, he'd still be hitting fifth like he had been doing against the lefties."
Either way, Maddon said he doesn't think it will put any pressure or change anything about Myers' approach.
"I don't think it's going to make him try to do more or less," Maddon said. "He's not going to make more phone calls to tell people he's batting third today, tweet it or whatever."
• The Rays have signed right-hander Ramon S. Ramirez and outfielder Even Frey to Minor League contracts and assigned them to Triple-A Durham.
Ramirez, 31, has compiled a career 3.42 ERA over eight Major League seasons with the Rockies (2006-07), Royals (2008), Red Sox (2008-09), Mets (2012) and Giants (2010-11, 2013). He will report to Durham after spending a few days in Port Charlotte.
Frey, 27, is a career .280 hitter with 182 stolen bases over seven seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks system, primarily at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.