The announcement was little surprise, but a familiar face will take the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day.
On Tuesday, the Rays named returning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price the starter for the season-opener against the Baltimore Orioles on April 2. This will be the second Opening Day start for the 27-year-old left-hander, following a four-run, five-hit outing in a loss to the Orioles to open the 2011 season.
Right-hander James Shields, traded to the Kansas City Royals in December, started for Tampa Bay in a victory over the New York Yankees on Opening Day in 2012.
“It means a lot,” Price told reporters Tuesday in Port Charlotte, Fla. “To be the guy that takes the ball for our organization, first and foremost, is very special. Being at home, I’m throwing that first pitch for our season, that means a lot as well. … This is what you want to be. I don’t just want to be the best on a staff. I want to be the best in baseball.”
Price finished a career-best 20-5 last season, posting a 2.56 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 211 innings of work.