An interesting pitching matchup Friday night at Tropicana Field as Javier Vazquez, in his second stint with the Yankees, opposes young left-hander David Price of the Rays.
This will be an important season for Price, the No. 1 overall player in the 2007 draft. Price didn't join the Tampa Bay rotation until the end of May last season. He posted a 10-7 record with a 4.42 ERA in 23 starts. But Price was 7-3 with a 3.58 ERA over his final 12 starts of last season.
That final stretch should tell us a lot.
With such high expectations, it's time for Price to take the next step in his development. That begins tomorrow night against the Yankees as Price starts the season in the rotation for the first time in his young career.
The Rays will contend in the AL this season. But we'll have to wait and see if they can overtake the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Twins. And it will be interesting to see what role Price plays in Tampa Bay's success this season.
Price's career at Tropicana Field: 8-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 13 appearances.
Price's career against the Yankees: 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA