ST. PETERSBURG — LHP David Price was raving about how good he felt in Monday's 45-pitch bullpen session.
The Rays apparently felt that way, too, as they decided Tuesday to slightly accelerate the timetable for the Cy Young Award winner's return from the disabled list.
Rather than throw a third scheduled bullpen session, Price — out since mid May with a triceps strain — will throw a simulated game Thursday at the Trop and if all goes well head out for a three-game minor-league rehab assignment.
"We're going to attempt to get him out sooner because he threw so well" Monday, manager Joe Maddon said.
The net gain, if Price come through with no setbacks, is one additional start for the Rays, as Maddon said they can work it for him to make four starts before the All-Star break. To do so, he would have to make his first start for the Rays no later than June 29.
Price, by the way, said he had not heard anything, much less the apology he requested, from umpire Tom Hallion, who is working his first Rays games since their April 28 confrontation in Chicago.
JAKE, FROM THE FARM: The Rays needed a fresh arm for their depleted bullpen, and they got one by calling up RHP Jake Odorizzi, who was scheduled to start Tuesday for Durham.
Maddon had said Monday night it was possible RHP Kyle Farnsworth was headed to the disabled list as he left the game with elbow soreness. But the Rays then found out that RHP Alex Cobb's grandmother died and he would be leaving the team, so they could instead place him on the bereavement list, allowing an absence of 3-7 days, and add Odorizzi in his place. Cobb, who pitched Monday, is expected back to pitch Saturday.
Farnsworth, meanwhile, said he felt fine on Tuesday, could have pitched and was adamant that "I'm not going on the DL,'' asking who said he was.
Farnsworth left the game after throwing eight pitches to one batter, saying, according to Maddon, he "felt something kind of pop or there was a strain of the elbow." Farnsworth disputed that, too, saying, "I felt something, I didn't say it popped.''
PITCHING IN: With the relief corps depleted and LHP Cesar Ramos done had Monday's game extended beyond the 14th, INF Ryan Roberts was in the bullpen warming up to pitch.
How did Roberts — who last pitched in Little League — get the honors?
"By default," Maddon said. "And he's real noisy about it. He thinks he can do this; they all do." Maddon was initially going to use OF Sam Fuld but had to pinch-hit for him.
Tuesday starter RHP Roberto Hernandez was a possibility to work Monday but had already left the Trop — not unusual for the next day's pitcher — and by the time the Rays reached him and he returned, the game was ending.
Ramos earned an interesting notation after throwing 45 pitches over three innings Sunday then 44 in three more Monday: He was the first big-leaguer since the White Sox's D.J. Carrasco in June 2009 to throw 40-plus pitches on back-to-back days.
MINOR MATTERS: Class A Bowling Green had a league-most nine players named to the June 18 Midwest League All-Star Game: Ps Jeff Ames, Dylan Floro, Taylor Guerrieri, Reinaldo Lopez; INFs Tommy Coyle, Tyler Goeddel, Leonardo Reginatto; C Luke Maile; OF Andrew Toles. … Advanced Class A Charlotte had four players named to Saturday's 7:05 p.m. FSL All-Star Game at Dunedin's Florida Auto Exchange Stadium: C Curt Casali, INF Jake Hager, Ps Ryan Carpenter and Jesse Hahn.
MISCELLANY: C Jose Molina had his first RBI since May 27. … The Rays have scored seven or more in four straight games. … Tuesday was the Rays' first game vs. a lefty since May 26. ... 3B Evan Longoria kicks off the summer Reading with the Rays program today.