ST. PETERSBURG — LHP David Price says it's not a setback, but the soreness he felt Saturday has at least delayed the schedule manager Joe Maddon discussed for his minor-league rehab assignment.
Maddon had said Price, out since mid May with a left triceps strain, was exceeding expectations after Thursday's 54-pitch simulated game, suggesting Tuesday as a possibility for his first rehab start. But Maddon said Price had "a little bit abnormal" soreness after Saturday's bullpen session, so they backed off. Price played catch Sunday, will play catch again today then throw a bullpen Tuesday, when Maddon said they'll decide the next step.
Price, expected to return in late June, didn't believe it was a setback since there was no schedule set in stone. He was encouraged that on Sunday he felt much better than Saturday, when his "entire arm was sore." That type of soreness, Price said, wasn't a concern, typical for pitching after a long layoff, comparing it to the first live batting practice of spring training.
"If you would have asked me if I would have felt this good (Sunday), I would have been like there was no chance," Price said. "To feel as good as I do (Sunday), it's definitely a big bright spot, so it's good."
As admittedly impatient as Price is, joking the "DL's not for me," he said head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield makes sure he's taking it "nice and slow."
"He wants me to come back to stay back," Price said. "That's why it takes a little bit more time."
MEDICAL MATTERS: RHPs Brandon Gomes (right lat strain) and Juan Carlos Oviedo (reconstructive elbow surgery) both felt good after throwing their first bullpen sessions Sunday. Gomes, out since May 8, said he had no pain or worries after throwing 25 fastballs; he said he'll have two more bullpens before starting a relatively brief rehab assignment. "Great first step," he said. "My command was actually surprisingly good for having not thrown for a while."
PITCHING IN: The Rays (partly) set their rotation for the Red Sox series, saying RHP Chris Archer will start one of the two games in Tuesday's day-night doubleheader, and the other TBA, likely RHP Jake Odorizzi added as the 26th man. RHP Jeremy Hellickson will pitch Wednesday.
STARRY NIGHT: While Evan Longoria remains in fourth place among American League third basemen in All-Star fan voting, he's now just 207,284 votes behind the Rangers' Adrian Beltre for third, according to the latest update. Fans can cast their ballots on mlb.com until July 4 at midnight.