Rays Notes: David Price is Looking to be Even Better

By David Hill

One could forgive David Price if he regarded himself as the best pitcher in the American League. Armed with a Cy Young Award from last year, he is certainly in the conversation along with Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez. However, Price does not focus on how good he presently is, he is focusing more on how good he can be. According to Price, he can be even better than he was.

"“I can definitely pitch better than I did last year, and I know that,” Price said. “And I think that [pitching coach Jim] Hickey and Joe [Maddon] know that as well. I can get a lot better. It’s improving every day. It’s not letting one day go by when I feel like I didn’t get my work in. Don’t let one day go by where I feel like I could have done more. That’s my mindset day in and day out.“That’s what I try to pass along to anyone else who wants to do the same thing because I feel like it is the right way and it’s the way you’re going to give yourself the best chance to be successful, to be productive. That’s the way I go about my business.”"

Last season, Price went 20-5 with a league leading 2.56 ERA and 205 strikeouts. Those are numbers that most starters would be pleased to simply replicate the following year. However, Price seems to regard those as more of a starting point, as he feels he can be even better. If he performs to his expectations, he may end up being the first back to back Cy Young winner in the American League since Pedro Martinez.

Before yesterday’s game against the Tigers, bench coach Dave Martinez had an up close and personal experience with a tiger – a baby tiger from the Dade County Wild Things Zoo. The tiger was there to visit with members of the Detroit Tigers, but still found time for Martinez.

In the wake of Luke Scott‘s injury, there is plenty of speculation as to who could fill that void. Based on a tweet from Marc Topkin, the player they bring in could depend on how long Scott would be shelved for.

It would certainly be interesting to see if Leslie Anderson would be brought up to fill the void. He may have rekindled his flickering chances of reaching the majors with a solid showing during Spring Training, and in catching the eye of Joe Maddon. Should Anderson come up and produce, then the Rays may actually get something back on their investment.

Finally, the new Meet the Rays videos are up, allowing one to get to know a bit about their favorite ballplayers. There are definitely interesting moments, and it is an excellent way to learn more about the members of the Rays. It is a great opportunity to hear Evan Longoria talk about changing diapers, learn Joel Peralta‘s favorite Celine Dion song, or find out Joe Maddon’s proudest moments.