PORT CHARLOTTE - If there were certain expectations for how the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner should have looked against a Single-A team, David Price probably fulfilled those standards. The Tampa Bay Rays' prized left-hander, pitching as a member of the Charlotte Stone Crabs, threw five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. He also struck out eight Bradenton Marauders to make his case to come off the disabled list. "I guess whatever I did out there today is going to be my lobbying," Price said of his chance to rejoin the Rays. "If that's not enough, I guess I'll have to throw another one." More importantly than the start itself, Price said he felt the strained left triceps that has kept him out since mid-May felt fine, and he added he had plenty of stamina to last longer than the 72 pitches (54 strikes) he threw Wednesday at Charlotte Sports Park.
"I didn't feel tired whatsoever out there," said Price, who threw to fellow former Vanderbilt Commodore Curt Casali. "The humidity out here can take a lot out of you, but it cooled down a lot after the bullpen. The body feels strong and I've been out in the sun quite a bit." If the results on the stat sheet weren't a strong enough indicator, the radar gun was. It regularly showed Price working his fastball in the 92- to 94-mph range while working in each of his secondary pitches, including an off-speed pitch roughly once every four throws. "I don't know what it was today, but I felt good," Price said of his velocity. "I felt good with my fastball ... I was able to get some swings on (the curve ball), and it was good - I didn't hang any." Whether he'll wear the Stone Crabs uniform again or not is not under his control, but he's optimistic either way. "Obviously the decision is not in my hands, but I put my best foot forward today," Price said. "It was very good to have the results that I did today."