May 24, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez (40) talks with pitching coach Jim Hickey (48) and teammates on the mound during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Notes: Rays Wives, Roberto Hernandez, David Price

Rays fans head to Tropicana Field to see their beloved Rays play. Fans coming to Monday’s game will also get to see their wives. The Rays Wives will take on the Marlins Wives in the annual Citrus Classic at 1:00 PM prior to the Rays’ 3:10 PM game that day, with the Wives raising money for Autism Speaks. The Rays’ offseason changes also brought changes to the Wives’ roster, but Alison Shelton (wife of Derek) remains confident that they’ll be fine.

“We were nervous, but now that we’ve had two practices, we’re excited again,” Alison said. “We’re going to keep it quiet, who the ringers are. We don’t want to give away too much.”

 Back to conventional baseball and Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez has struggled mightily in his past couple starts but Joe Maddon will keep sending him to the mound for now.
“He’s going to make his next start on Wednesday,” Maddon said. “We’re just trying to figure out what the problem has been over the past couple of games. We have an idea about that. We just have to get him better in certain moments and execution of his pitches.”

That’s a typical Joe Maddon comment, but what was more interesting was that he acknowledged that he “didn’t realize” just how much Hernandez had struggled against the Yankees previously. Maybe in retrospect, Maddon would have skipped Hernandez’s start on Friday, not because of his bad performance but more because of his inability to beat the Yankees. In any event, Hernandez will take on the Marlins in his next start and hopefully that will help him finally get on track.

The Rays’ bullpen has been a bigger concern than their rotation, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the Rays can’t wait to get David Price back. Price is feeling good, but his timetable remains unclear and he’s stuck playing a waiting game.

“I feel great, I really do,” he said. “That’s probably the toughest thing for me right now: My arm feels the way it does, my body feels the way it does and I’m not able to do anything yet because we have to give it time. I understand that, I do.”

Jake Odorizzi will go for the Rays on Monday after showing signs in his first start, and with any luck the Rays’ rotation will be just fine. But losing their ace changes not just the Rays’ performance but the entire dynamic of their team–coincidence or not, the bullpen was pitching better after watching Price overcome his early-season struggles for a time–and having him taking the mound changes everything. Hopefully when Price comes back he will be adding some extra to a team already playing well and not desperately trying to turn an inconsistent team around.
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Tags: David Price Roberto Hernandez Tampa Bay Rays

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