Way back on April 6th, Scott Kazmir was ready to make his long-awaited return to the major leagues, taking the ball for the Indians in their 4th start of the season against none other than the team which he helped bring to prominence, the Tampa Bay Rays. However, he landed in the disabled list for a strained rib cage before he could make his start and has been sidelined ever since. But after his last rehab start at the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus affiliate, Kazmir is finally set to make his first MLB start since April of 2011, and although it won’t be against the Rays, his consolation prize will be going against his hometown Astros.
Steve Kinsella of Wahoo’s on First talked about Kazmir’s strong rehab appearance, tossing 5 innings allowing just an unearned run on 5 hits, striking out 5 while walking one, and showing off a strong low-90′s fastball and sharp breaking pitches. Rays fans, it’s time to get excited about Kazmir coming back, and with his debut not coming against the Rays, fans can root for him without qualms. The Rays are playing at 7:10 PM EST, just an hour after the 6:10 PM EST start of Kazmir’s game but for that one hour before the Rays game starts and maybe muted on your laptop while you watch the Rays game on TV, Rays fans with MLB.TV have to catch that game.
Speaking of former Rays, Wade Davis was excellent for the Kansas City Royals last night, going 7 innings of shutout baseball as the Royals beat fellow ex-Ray B.J. Upton and the Atlanta Braves 1-0. The great performance by the “other guy” acquired with James Shields in the Wil Myers trade inspired confidence in Royals fans that the return they were got for Myers and their other prospects was not as bad as they may have thought. Davis had a nasty cutter and used to befuddle the Braves the entire outing. It’s great to see Davis doing well with his new team, and while the Rays won’t miss him too much–they have a great rotation and Davis of course won’t be that good every time out–Rays fans can certainly root for him and Shields to have nice season with Kansas City this year.
While Kazmir and Davis have moved on for the Rays, David Price continues to attracts attention for the Rays thanks to his incredible pitching–and everything else. Price had plenty to say on Wednesday talking to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune discussing the Rays’ offense, his pitching, and the bobblehead the Rays are set to give away of Price’s dog, Astro.
“We see them in the dugout, we hear them talking between innings, they’re not out there just giving up, and nobody else is either. We know these guys are putting in every bit of effort they can. It’s a rough time right now, but we’ll get through this. I feel like we hit this part in every season that I’ve been here, and not just one time a year, but multiple times. … So if we can get on our stride like we usually do I think we can be OK.”
“It does, absolutely,” he said. “I want to win the game, but most importantly I want the Rays to win the game whenever I’m out there on the mound. Whether I get the win or not, that doesn’t really affect me that much, but I want the organization to get that win. That’s something I take pride in.”
“That’s the way he sits. The jersey. He always has his tongue out like that,” Price said. “That’s one of the better-resembling bobbleheads I’ve ever seen.”
Astro, Price’s French bulldog, will attend the game. Throw out the first pitch?
“He can do something like that,” Price said.
Price’s future in Tampa Bay is in question with trade rumors swirling. However, Price is showing from the first two quotes that he’s 100% committed to his team and that he’s an excellent team player who cares about nothing more than everyone playing well and his team winning. The third quote? That’s just vintage Price demonstrating that he’s just an awesome guy. It will be cool for all the fans in attendance to get that Astro bobblehead, and even better that it has the David Price stamp of approval.