By C. Trent Rosecrans
Many of the opening day starting assignments are far from surprising, but they're still newsworthy just because, well, they are. Today's starter announcement is one of those. David Price will start for the Rays when they open the season April 1 against the Orioles.
Price has disposed James Shields at the top of the rotation, and understandably so. The former No. 1 pick was 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA last season in his first full season in the big leagues. Shields, though, struggled last season, going 13-15 with a 5.18 ERA and led the big leagues in hits (246) and earned runs (117) allowed.
Price said Shields was the first person to congratulate him on the news.
Manager Joe Maddon said the rotation will also include Shields, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson, although the order won't be set until later. Maddon wants to see how each pitcher matches up with the team's first few opponents before announcing it.
"We have some ideas, I'm not ready to reveal them yet," Maddon said. "We're still talking about it. It's not brain surgery. It just makes sense some of the stuff."
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