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May 16, 2013

What You Need to Know

The Price is Not Right

by Zachary Levine


The Wednesday Takeaway
The traditional rules of pitching depth aren’t supposed to apply to the Tampa Bay Rays, the story goes. If one of the young homegrown arms goes down to injury or if one ceases to be affordable, you just order another part from the factory in Durham, N.C., and repeat as necessary.

That theory is really being tested this year. In April, they broke a 1,207-game streak of not using a starting pitcher signed as a major-league free agent when they needed to go scraping for Roberto Hernandez to replace James Shields.

And now, the thing no Rays fan wanted to hear and no baseball fan should have wanted to hear: David Price is hurt. There was no real grimace, nothing shocking, just a shake or two of the left arm and a couple of squeezes of the left hand. That he threw no pitches to test it was a bad sign.

The diagnosis was a pretty generic “triceps tendinitis,” which can be anything from skipping a turn through the rotation to major surgery on the horizon with plenty of Josh Johnson-style middle ground, so it’s a little soon to speculate. But the Rays have already been struggling in the rotation, and this would be an enormous blow.

Most of the concerns, even after trading Shields and Wade Davis, remained on offense, but that’s where the Rays have been fine. Evan Longoria has been great, and James Loney has risen from nowhere to provide an extremely capable six weeks, though one is ever sure how predictive that is.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (05/16)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (05/15)
Next Column >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (05/17)
Next Article >>
The Stats Go Marching ... (05/16)

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