NEW YORK — LHP David Price won't pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game due to a previously undisclosed turf toe problem, but he will be able to get back on the mound when the Rays resume play this weekend against Boston.
That sounds like medical miracle stuff, but it actually just shows that the decision is more a matter of a precaution than a new injury. And a convenient one for the Rays, as they would rather have Price fully rested for the postbreak schedule, which starts with the Red Sox and Yankees.
Price, who said he has had ongoing issues in both his left and right big toes, had mixed emotions about the decision, which apparently was under consideration secretly for days and was announced unexpectedly during Sunday's game against the Yankees.
"It's something that I want to be able to go out there (to Phoenix) and represent the AL," he said, "but I want to be able to throw Friday as well and give my toe enough time to heal up and to get to where I can be effective out there."
Manager Joe Maddon defended the decision, citing several Yankees who also withdrew from the All-Star game.
"(Closer Mariano) Rivera pitched (Saturday), he's not pitching in the game; (SS Derek) Jeter played, he's not playing in the game," Maddon said. "There's plenty of examples. It really points out the fact that the regular season is a lot more important than this game, which certainly is appropriate."
RHP James Shields was also formally taken off the AL active roster after he started Sunday's game, the product of a 2010 rule change. Both Price and Shields will still go to Phoenix to participate in the festivities and will cheer on the lone remaining active Ray, OF Matt Joyce. Though several pitchers were added to the AL roster, RHP Kyle Farnsworth hadn't heard anything and was headed home to Orlando.
Maddon said Price, who threw 112 pitches Saturday, has been bothered more recently by the injury. "It's been there, it's been annoying," he said. "You could see the last two starts weren't his best. So it's just a concern that we have."
Said Price: "This is something I've had so I've kind of learned to deal with it, but being able to take that day off and not have to fire it up during the All-Star break is pretty big."
The Rays have not formally announced their rotation, but Maddon said Price and Shields will start the first two games, though the order isn't set. The other three spots will be taken by Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann and likely Alex Cobb in place of injured Wade Davis.
GUYER GONE: OF Brandon Guyer came and went again, called up for Sunday's game, going 0-for-3, then optioned back Durham. The decision allows him to participate in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday in Salt Lake City.
SONNY VIEW: RHP Andy Sonnanstine was surprised and disappointed to be sent down to Triple A and admitted it will be an adjustment for him to go back to the minors.
"It's going to be tough," he said. "I'll probably have to swallow my pride a little bit and try to stay as positive as possible."
With Sonnanstine making only three one-inning appearances over the past five weeks, the Rays decided it makes more sense for him to work regularly as a starter at Durham.
Sonnanstine, who signed for $912,500 to avoid arbitration and would be in line for a raise, acknowledged that the move raises questions about his future in the organization.
"That's a question you'd have to ask Joe or (executive vice president Andrew) Friedman," he said. "I'm 100 percent with this organization until I'm not. I don't want to let my mind go down that path."
MISCELLANY: 3B Evan Longoria received another cortisone shot in his left foot Saturday in an effort to better manage the pain from his occasional nerve condition. … The Rays were shut out for the eighth time, second on the road trip. … DH Johnny Damon said his left hand was sore after playing Saturday, but he expects to be ready to go by Friday. … OF Sam Fuld was excited, and a bit stressed, about his trip to Phoenix, where he will provide commentary, and play a little defense, on ESPN's broadcast of tonight's Home Run Derby.