Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price took a step towards returning to the team from the disabled list, throwing a simulated game Thursday before the Rays faced off against the Kansas City Royals. Price has been sidelined since May 16 thanks to a strained triceps.
Price reportedly threw about 54 pitches during the simulated game over three innings. It is the first time he’s faced live batters since the injury and he received a surprise when he first took the mound. James Shields, Price’s former teammate who was traded to the Royals this past offseason, was standing in the batter’s box once Price took the mound. He took five pitches before stepping out of the batter’s box and by all accounts the pair had a good laugh about it. This is the first time Shields has returned to Tampa Bay since the deal.
Price is expected to begin a rehab assignment in the next week with the hopes of returning to the Rays by month’s end.
In nine starts before the injury Price struggled to a 1-4 record and 5.94 ERA, uncharacteristic numbers for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner (he was 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA in 211.0 IP last season). He’s been hit hard in his 55.0 IP, allowing 10.6 H/9 and 1.3 HR/9 which would both be career highs.