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David Price's workload to affect Tampa Bay Rays' rotation

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are under the impression LHP David Price will be named the starter for Tuesday's All-Star Game and have no concerns with him working the standard two innings because he'll be on five days' rest.

But as they discuss and analyze plans to shuffle the rotation coming out of the All-Star break, Price's workload will be among their prime topics.

Manager Joe Maddon said the main issue is "making sure guys get adequate rest going from the first half to the second half," and Price — who leads the AL with 12 wins and is second with a 2.42 ERA — tops the list.

The 24-year-old lefty has already thrown 1151/3 innings and 1,838 pitches. Last season, he threw a combined 1622/3 innings and 2,841 pitches — 1281/3 innings and 2,280 pitches in the majors after 341/3 innings and 561 pitches at Triple-A Durham.

"The one guy that's probably trending a little bit high, obviously, is David," Maddon said.

Maddon pretty much ruled Price out to start the post-break opener at Yankee Stadium on July 16. And it sounded like they will push him to at least the middle of the rotation, perhaps starting the finale of the three-game series in New York. The new plan might be set today.

Maddon said the other starters are "in pretty good shape:" James Shields has 1161/3 innings and 1,856 pitches; Jeff Niemann 112, 1,598; Matt Garza 1071/3, 1,759; Wade Davis 94, 1,660.

The Rays' other All-Star pitcher, Rafael Soriano, is cleared for one inning of work.

STUNG AGAIN: OF Gabe Kap­ler on Friday joined INF Sean Rodriguez as Rays on the wrong end of a sting ray.

Kapler was stung on the left foot in the water behind the same Redington Beach condo complex where Rodriguez, who also lives there, got zapped in May.

"It hurt, and it bled," Kapler said. "My boys and my wife were good nurses. I soaked it for about an hour, and it feels good now."

Kapler, who was tossing a football with his sons, had been doing the sting ray shuffle.

"But," he said, "apparently not enough."

TRADE WINDS: The Rays were watching the Cliff Lee trade situation with interest before batting practice (when it look like he was going to the Yankees) and again after (when he went to Texas).

"It's better than the Yankees. I know that," Maddon said. "If it can't be the Rays, it's okay that he goes to Texas. I would prefer that he be in the National League if he's not here. That definitely puts Texas in a good spot."

MATT-MANIA: Usually, the Rays want Garza to calm down on the mound. But Maddon said Garza might have gone too far — becoming too deliberate, robotic and routine-oriented — and they'd like to see him as aggressive as he was in his relief outing on Wednesday.

"It's almost like he's been a little more on the passive side as opposed to the I-want-to-punch-you-in-the-face side," Maddon said. "I'd like to see him become a little bit more assertive and aggressive again."

Because of his 20-pitch relief outing, Garza will be limited to 90-100 pitches tonight.

DRAFT BREEZE: Third-round pick Ryan Brett was excited to be at the Trop on Friday after signing and before heading to Port Charlotte, where he'll join the Gulf Coast League team on Monday.

Brett is good friends with unsigned top pick Josh Sale and said he'd work on getting the power-hitting outfielder to join him: "I'm going to try to get him to sign pretty soon."

MISCELLANY: The Rays have lost seven straight home Friday games. … 1B Carlos Peña's massive 459-foot homer off the top of the Batter's Eye restaurant was the 14th longest in stadium history. … The Rays are donating $5,000 to Clearwater's North Greenwood Boys and Girls Club, which was recently burglarized. … Dan Johnson hit his International League-leading 24th homer for Triple-A Durham. … Carl Crawford stole his 30th base. … Ohio native RHP Andy Sonnanstine has a 9.93 ERA against the Indians.

David Price's workload to affect Tampa Bay Rays' rotation 07/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 10, 2010 11:45am]
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