Rays’ David Price throws first bullpen session Friday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price threw his first bullpen session Friday at Tropicana Field since he was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 16 after sustaining a strained left triceps.
Price, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, threw 38 pitches from the mound with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, pitching coach Jim Hickey and left-hander Matt Moore watching close by. Price said he “felt good” and that “it is a big step.” He said he has plans to throw again Monday.
“I woke up pretty early this morning,” Price said. “I was excited for it. It was a good day.”
Price, on the DL for the first time in his career, has not traveled with the Rays since sustaining the injury during an abbreviated start against the Boston Red Sox on May 15. However, he has remained a presence at Tropicana Field during homestands.
Before Tampa Bay’s game against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, Rays manager Joe Maddon said he had not talked to Porterfield about the bullpen session. But the manager knew Porterfield was pleased with Price’s progress.
“I know that he has been throwing well,” Maddon said of Price.
Price is 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA in nine starts this season.
“It’s a process,” Price said. “Like Ron continually tells me and explains to everybody else, ‘Whenever David comes back, we want him to stay back.’ … That’s the way they’re looking at it. They want to make sure I’m 100 percent healthy whenever I’m coming back to make sure I’m here so I can go the rest of the season.”

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.