Rays Yankees Spring BaseballNow that it looks like the Rays have decided to start David Price in the minor leagues, many are wondering how long it will be until Price makes the permanent jump to the big leagues. But just like many were surprised to learn that Price wasn’t a lock for the opening day roster, many will be surprised if Price is not the first starting pitcher promoted from Durham.

We are starting to wonder if Wade Davis will be the Rays’ first choice to join the Rays rotation at some point this season.

Price and Davis rank among the top pitching prospects in baseball. But while Price has a stronger pedigree and a higher upside, Davis may be the more polished pitcher right now.

Earlier this week we learned that Price was not only still working on his third pitch (the changeup), but he may have lost the touch on his second pitch (the slider). Meanwhile, Davis entered camp and looked impressive from day 1.

There are also concerns about how many innings the Rays want to put on Price’s arm this season. Price only worked 129 innings last season, while Davis may be ready for the workload that comes from a major league rotation, having worked 160 inning in 2008. In fact, Price has only worked 383 innings in four years since high school, while Davis already has 608 innings as a pro. Price has 14 starts above single-A. Davis has 42.

Many have speculated (us included) that Davis could fill the same role in 2009 that Price filled last season. That is, a late-season call-up that is used out of the bullpen. But if Davis is the more polished pitcher and continues to prove that he is ready, he very well may be in the rotation by July and Price will once again be a late-season call-up working out of the bullpen.

David Price in the Rays rotation in 2008…What once seemed like a foregone conclusion now has a chance of being delayed until 2010.



  1. Don says:

    Hammel is #5....
    Price/Wade getting ready for a stumble....
    Would you like to ask EVERY other Major League Team if THEY would like be in this position!!

    • Was it really just 2 years ago that the Rays #2/3 starters were Jae Seo and Casey Fossum?

      • Joe D. says:

        Right, but 4 & 5 were Shields and Jackson. Of course half way through the season Nuke had an ERA in the 9-11 range.

        Point well taken though, I remember watching Seo, Fossum, then a bullpen with Camp, Stokes, McClung, Lugo, Salas, ect... and then looking at the Durham stats and seeing guys like Hammel, and Sonninstine putting up decent numbers, and just wondering why we were being tortured. I looked forward to when we had a lead and we could get to Glover and Reyes.

        • GH says:

          Don't forget about Micelli! Call me crazy but I always thought Ruddy had potential especially with his curve. But thanks for reminding me about the total abortion that was our pitching staff, top to bottom. Man, times have changed and life is good.

  2. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    everytime i bring this up with my coworkers they say i am crazy. any other organization and the fans would be PISSED if Wade Davis wasn't in the rotation to start the season. and everybody would be screaming how cheap the Rays are being.

    didn't anybody see how dominating Davis was in the spring? the guy is the real deal and Price still needs work. Davis WILL be called up before Price.

    • Don says:

      I have better word for "morons" who call the Rays" cheap.....
      How about "genius" business executives!
      Just to remind you...60 million payroll up from 20...
      American League champs...
      The "other organizations" are PISSED!!

  3. Dirtbag Fan says:

    I want the better pitcher (right now) over the bigger name...

    Equate it to desperate NFL teams that draft a QB in the 1st round and then feel like they're obligated to start him over an established QB just because he makes a ton of money and is a high-profile player...it rarely works!

    You don't see the teams that are competitive year in and year out making knee-jerk reactions like that, and I don't expect the brain-trust of the Rays organization to fall victim to that mentality either.

    Their only concern is keeping Price from getting discouraged or disgruntled because he's hanging out in the minors, as long as the organization caters to his ego (everyone has one) it'll all work out...

    Give me Davis in June/July and Price in Sept.


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