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The Rays Tank: Price is not right, particularly his left triceps

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Despite his rough start to the season, a collective groan escaped all Rays fans when David Price left last night's game injured.

USA TODAY Sports

The first injury of a major league career, to a pitcher whose confidence has to be slightly battered and bruised after starting the season 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA, following a year where his success was heralded with AL Cy Young honors -- rough.

It was confusing initially, as it wasn't clear exactly what was wrong with David Price. With the Red Sox up 1-0 via a walk and two singles, David Ortiz drilled an RBI single past Evan Longoria, when suddenly Joe Maddon, Ron Porterfield and Jim Hickey were making their way towards the mound. After a moment or two of discussion, Price left the game, without throwing any additional pitches. Upon replay, it was apparent Price clenched and unclenched his left fist following Ortiz's single, then called towards the dugout.

Price's injury was determined to be a left triceps strain, and it's not currently apparent whether it will warrant a trip to the disabled list; though Joe Maddon said it's "unlikely Price makes next start," which would be Monday in Toronto.

If this is the case, Jake Odorizzi (4-0, 3.83 ERA) and Chris Archer (4-2, 3.97 ERA) are the likely candidates to fill his rotation spot. Odorizzi and Price are currently on the same pitching schedule, though Odorizzi gave up six earned runs in five-and-a-third for Durham last night; Archer is scheduled to pitch today.

In the video below, Price says that he felt tightness on a few fastballs, but that until last night he hadn't questioned his health any other time this year:

(Video via Marc Topkin)

It was apparent that Price was uncomfortable with the thought of being injured, saying:

"This is something I take pride in, being available every fifth day and being out there for my team," Price said. "I don't know how that's looking right now, but I'll just get re-evaluated tomorrow."

He also acknowledged that if the injury lingered, or got worse, he wouldn't risk the team's success for his own desire to pitch:

"It was something I've got to take care of. I can't just go out there, because I'm not just putting my neck on the line. I'm a part of this team," Price said. "I want to be there in August and September and October when we're playing in the playoffs. ... I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it was something that was serious."

Maddon was sure to reiterate that the MRI results didn't appear to indicate a bad injury, and that he wasn't getting a "bad vibe from anybody about the whole thing." Price will play catch today after undergoing more tests, and further updates should be available then.

For the rundown of the rest of the game in the Rays 9-2 loss to the Red Sox, check out Gareth's postgame recap.

Tonight Alex Cobb (4-2, 3.09 ERA) faces Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.40 ERA) and looks to help the Rays clinch the series against the Red Sox before they hit the road for a mini AL East tour; visiting Baltimore and Toronto on a six-game road trip, before returning to the Trop to take on the Yankees.

Links:

- "Baseball is often described as a chess match between batter and pitcher. But it's more like a chess match between batter and pitcher in which, once in a while, the catcher grabs the board and moves someone's piece." The art of pitch framing by catchers, with some love for Jose Molina.

- We posted this on Twitter on May 10th, but it warrants an ICYMI: an especially fantastic interactive piece from The Washington Post concerning Bryce Harper's swing.

- No matter the highs and lows of this season, remember this: we're neither the Angels nor the Dodgers. RIP Highway Series World Series 2K13.