TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
Rays notes: Price's timetable still uncertain

LHP David Price provided his first update on his rehab before Saturday's game but could not say when he will return to the team.

Price, scheduled to return from the 15-day disabled list Friday, said his strained left triceps feels better, but he won't begin throwing until sometime this week.

"I honestly have no idea," Price said when asked for a date for his return. "You have to give it a chance to heal, a chance to get better, and that's what we're doing right now."

Manager Joe Maddon said last week that Price would miss at least three starts. The fact Price has yet to throw would indicate he will miss more than three.

"It all depends on how I feel when I play catch," Price said. "Not trial and error, but we're going have to base it on day-to-day."

The good news is Price said he has been exercising his left shoulder and elbow and the area is pain free.

"I feel great," Price said, "and that's probably the toughest thing for me right now is my arm feels the way it does and my body feels the way it does and I'm not able to do anything yet, because we just have to give it time, and I understand that."

This is a first

RHP Alex Cobb has plenty of experience with having his scheduled start pushed back a few days, so having one moved up is kind of "weird," Cobb said.

Cobb, on schedule to face the Marlins on Monday, will stay on his normal five days rest and face the Yankees today in the finale of this three-game series.

Cobb said he was told by pitching coach Jim Hickey after his last start against the Blue Jays in Toronto that the team was thinking of flipping Cobb and RHP Jake Odorizzi. The rookie will face the Marlins on Monday.

"I didn't think about it at first but as time went on and you see the importance of the game, those are the games you want to have," Cobb said. "Now I'm really excited to have that game. Glad they're giving me the opportunity to have it."

Cobb is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees. He threw 81/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees on April 24 in a 3-0 victory at Tropicana Field.

"There's going to be a little added adrenaline and emotion into it, I think you'd like to go with somebody who's been there done that, which is weird because I haven't been here that long," Cobb said. "As a pitcher and a competitor it's a game you definitely want to get. All the games matter, but when you're facing another AL East team it's definitely a game that you want to have."

Sticking with Roberto

Maddon said RHP Roberto Hernandez will make his scheduled start Wednesday night in Miami and the ones after that, as well.

Despite Hernandez's recent struggles, Maddon said there are no plans at this point to remove Hernandez from the rotation.

"We're just trying to figure out what the problem has been over the last two games," Maddon said. "We have an idea about that. We just have to get him better in certain moments in execution of his pitches."

Hernandez has had trouble locating his sinker during his past two starts. The pitch has been flat and in the middle of the strike zone. As a result, Hernandez has pitched a total of six innings, allowing 10 runs on 14 hits.

"For now I continue to work hard and do whatever it take for the opportunity to go to the mound," Hernandez said after Friday's loss to the Yankees.

Maddon said he wasn't aware of Hernandez's poor history against the Yankees - 1-6 with a 7.50 ERA in 12 starts that includes an 11.32 ERA in his last five starts against the Bombers.

"A big part of his success is going to be his ability to slow things down, utilize his experience as a veteran and be able to stay out of big innings," Maddon said.

Noteworthy

2B/LF Kelly Johnson is batting .324 in May. He has five home runs, 18 RBIs. … Bucs DT Gerald McCoy was scheduled to throw out the first pitch Saturday but did not make it to the Trop in time after being involved in a minor traffic accident. … The Rays are 11-16 vs. the AL East.