Price is the Future Ace of the Rays – And the Future is Now

I am not an overly superstitious person, BUT I did use a lot of time posting on last week about who I thought the Rays should use their money on in signing a slugger to fill the DH roll, and my wish of having Pat Burrell join the team came true.

So that said, I guess it would not be a bad idea to talk a bit about what I think the starting rotation should look like this season, with specific regard to David Price.

There has been much talk about what roll Price will fill for the team this year. Will he be coming out of the bullpen? Will he be part of the starting rotation? Will he already start the year on the 25 man Major League list?

All questions that have been asked…can be answered by looking at what this young man did in limited action last year with the team.

In the five regular season games that Price spent some time on the mound, he tossed 14 innings, hit out 12 en route to notching a 1.93 ERA. Not bad for a rookie, playing in the toughest division in all of baseball.

If you combine that with what he was able to do in the postseason, it is already more impressive. Price appeared in five post season games, pitching 5.2 innings, remarkable out 8 and posting a 1.59 ERA. Price also picked up a win and a save during the Rays first post season run.

Now let’s combine those impressive numbers with some more facts about the Rays and their past.

The Rays have never had a true superstar quality pitching in the starting five. Big names such as Hideo Nomo, Wilson Alvarez, Rolando Arrojo and Dwight Gooden have all taken their turns as starters for the organization; none of them were in their chief during their stint with the Rays.

Excitement is something the team needs. Last year, the buzz around the St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay area was amazing…everyone was suddenly a Rays fan…because they were winning. Now, coming into this season, winning will no longer be a surprise…it is to be expected. The team needs to do something exciting and edgy to help keep that buzz and air alive. Price and his superstar ability needs to be the catalyst for that.

While Scott Kazmir, James Shields and Matt Garza certainly are talented pitchers, and have very bright futures with the Rays, none of them scream superstar like Price does. His swagger and confidence on the mound are impressive, and that combine with his ability to rule a team, create excitement for the fans and his overpowering stature make him a shoe in not only to break the starting rotation this year, but to potentially become the ace of a staff that may be the youngest, most talented in all of Major League Baseball.

Price showed overpowering stuff in his limited appearances with the team late last season, and he got some of the biggest outs in all of the Rays post season run.

Yes Price is young, but he has a substantial fielding team behind him, and an offense that is only going to get better with the additions the team has made in the off-season.

This guy has what it takes…hopefully we will see him, ball in hand, as a member of the starting rotation for the Rays this season.

With any luck, the organization will see it this way too.

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