Rays activate Price from DL, option Roberts to make room
The Rays made it official Tuesday, activating ace lefthander David Price from the disabled list as he'll start tonight against the Astros.
And they, as expected, optioned INF Ryan Roberts back to Triple-A Durham to make room, even though the veteran infielder made the decision tougher by hitting two home runs in Monday's 12-0 win.
Price, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, said he's excited, but admitted he'll be nervous before tonight's outing, his first since going on the DL in mid-May with a left triceps strain.
"For me, it's a start of a new season," Price said. "I want to get it started off right."
Manager Joe Maddon said Price will be limited to around 90 pitches, with the key being him feeling healthy and comfortable. If Price goes six innings, Maddon said "that'd be outstanding."
"If he stays well, and is able to pitch on a regular basis, he's going to put up good numbers," Maddon said.
Roberts, 32, knew it was possible he'd be the one going down when Price came back. He had been called up Saturday to provide insurance for 3B Evan Longoria, whose plantar fasciitis in his right foot appears to be improving enough for him to return to the lineup.
Roberts, having gone through the "humbling" experience of getting unexpectedly sent down a few weeks ago to make room for the arrival of touted prospect Wil Myers, said it made him appreciate every minute in the big leagues even more. And Roberts made a case to stay Monday night with his two homer, three hit game.
Maddon said Roberts handled the sitution with a "fabulous" attitude, saying and doing all the right things after the difficult demotion for a veteran.
"I give him a lot of credit," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's not easy playing in the big leagues as long as he has, go back, regroup and come back and contribute to a win in a big way."