ST. PETERSBURG — LHP David Price has closed out a Game 7 of the League Championship Series and started an All-Star Game.
But he admitted he'll likely have some butterflies tonight before his first opening-day start.
"All five of us starters are going to have a little bit of nerves running out there for the first start of the year, but that just comes with it," Price said. "It makes you feel like you're a kid again, and you appreciate it."
As pumped as Price will be, he said what he's most focused on is getting the Rays off to a good start and his body and pitches are in the right place.
"I feel good right now," he said. "I feel I'm where I need to be."
Price was impressive against Baltimore last season, winning both starts and allowing just one run over 15 innings. But he acknowledged how dangerous its lineup could be with the additions of DH Vladimir Guerrero, 3B Mark Reynolds and 1B Derrek Lee.
"They have a very, very tough lineup," Price said. "They had a very good lineup last year, and they added some guys that are big threats to hit the ball out of the yard. So whenever you pitch against the Orioles, they have some table-setters … and they have four or five guys who can put the ball 30 rows deep."
BANNER DAY: The Rays will hang their American League East championship banner before the game, adding to their 2008 division and AL championship banners. It never gets old for the veterans who have been here through the Devil Rays days.
"I never thought these days would come," said RHP James Shields, who was called up in 2006.
"I don't think there's any reason why we can't do it again."
MISCELLANY: The Rays officially placed LHP J.P. Howell on the 15-day disabled list and added RHP Juan Cruz to set their roster. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson pitched in a Triple-A game in Port Charlotte. He gave up three earned runs on five hits, striking out four and walking one over six innings and 89 pitches.