ST. PETERSBURG — Rays left-hander David Price was frustrated and disappointed Thursday that he had to go on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career.
But both Price, who has a left triceps strain, and the Rays were optimistic he won't be out long. Manager Joe Maddon anticipated a "minimal" DL stint, missing just 2-3 starts.
"I feel pretty good," Price said. "We're giving it a little time to calm down, and I will be out there in a couple weeks."
Price, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, said he felt a lot better than he did Wednesday, when he pulled himself out of his start against the Red Sox in the third inning. But Price won't throw for a few days, and he will remain here and rehab while the team is on its six-game road trip. The Rays called up left-hander Alex Torres from Triple-A Durham to help out of the bullpen, but they haven't decided yet who will start in Price's place Monday in Toronto. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi still appears the most likely choice, though Maddon said Chris Archer, Alex Colome and even Torres are being considered.
"David is an ace, he's a Cy Young winner," third baseman Evan Longoria said. "There's really nobody that can walk in and fill his shoes."
Price has struggled, going 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA in his first nine starts, which makes it even more difficult for him to miss time, he said.
"It's a new territory for me," Price, 27, said. "I've never really had any arm troubles. … This is frustrating, it is. I think it's even more frustrating cause I'm throwing the ball as bad as I am. That's when you really want to get back out there and get things going in a positive direction."
Maddon said he believes his team will be fine in Price's absence, pointing out how it held up while missing Longoria for 85 games last season. Maddon said the main concern with Price's injury is to "take your time with it so it doesn't pop back up."
"When he's well, he's going to be well for a long time," Maddon said. "We have plans of playing in October, and we're not getting there without him."
Maddon and Longoria said they'll miss Price's presence, both as a leader and one of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders in the dugout. Price said watching the Rays from afar next week is "probably going to be the worst part."
But Price said he believes he will bounce back from what admittedly has been a puzzling and trying start this season.
"It's rough, it is," he said. "This is a point I've never been in my professional career, my minor-league career, or college or high school, or anytime before that. This is new territory to me, but I'll be okay, though."
Joe Smith can be reached at email@example.com.