ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers are in town tonight to begin a three-game series and that means left-hander David Price returns to Tropicana Field for the first time since July 31, when he played catch with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson before the trade deadline deal that sent him to the Tigers.
“Who?” Chris Archer asked Sunday when Price's name was mentioned. “What? ... Wow.”
Archer, of course, was kidding.
Price will face Alex Cobb on Thursday afternoon. The game was not originally among the 150 games televised this season by Sun Sports, but it is now.
Price's corner locker in the Rays clubhouse is now a mini basketball court. The pitching staff has not felt his absence. They have a 2.71 ERA in the past 16 games. While the Rays are 8-8 since the trade, much of that falls on the offense.
The team ended a 12-game stretch Sunday where it allowed three runs or fewer in a game, but won only seven times.
The only time Price's former teammates talk about him is when they are asked by reporters.
“I think that everybody in the clubhouse is beyond the 'weird factor,' the strangeness of it,” Archer said. “It is what it is. It is what it's going to be. I'm not really going to be thinking about who's in the other dugout, to be honest with you.”