03/10/10 5:20 PM ET
Rays pull Price after broken bat scare
Rays pull lefty in second after jagged edge brushes palm
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Kevin Youkilis led off the bottom of the second inning with a comebacker toward Price for a single to center field. Adrian Beltre then broke his bat on a 2-1 fastball that sent the barrel of the bat toward Price's right hand.
Immediately after Price went down on the mound, a contingent from the Rays' bench -- including manager Joe Maddon -- joined him. Jim Hickey was the last person to the mound, and the Rays' pitching coach brought along a towel, which Price used to cover his hand as he left the game.
"It was more of a scare than anything else," Price said. "I don't really remember what happened, to be honest. I tried to make a play on the ball, and I guess out of the corner of my eye, I saw the bat and just threw my hands up. It could have been a lot worse than what it is right now.
"It's fine right now -- there's just the normal soreness you'd have after something like that. I'm going to be fine. ... I should be fine tomorrow playing catch. I'll just bandage it up. I'll be all right."
X-rays taken at City of Palms Park came back negative. After the X-rays were taken, Price returned to the Rays' bench, accompanied by the trainer, and received a nice ovation from the partisan Red Sox crowd.
Price said he could still move his right hand, and he does not expect to have any residual effects from the blow.
"We'll evaluate the whole thing," Maddon said. "I'm sure he'll be sore tomorrow. We'll see how sore he is and take it from there. And honestly, when I'm out there, my first thought was, 'Thank God it was his right hand.'"
Price, who went 10-7 with a 4.42 ERA in his rookie season with the Rays in 2009, was making his second Grapefruit League start. He expects to make his next start.
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Having avoided a more serious fate, Price managed to find some humor in the situation.
"I should have caught the bat and the ball at the same time and turned the double play -- that's why I'm most mad," Price said.
According to Price, the last time he got hit on the mound was when he pitched for Vanderbilt against South Carolina in the SEC Tournament and a ball hit by James Darnell struck him on the upper leg.
Getting hit is "something I think about all the time, but I'm sure so does every other pitcher," Price said.
Once Maddon reached the mound, Price said he expressed concern about the fact that Beltre used a maple bat.
"I guess [Beltre's bat was] maple," Price said. "[Maddon] was talking to the umpire. I don't really know a whole lot about the subject. A lot of bats break, but I don't know which bats are which. It would be nice to have a bat that didn't break that easy."
Maddon expressed his displeasure with the use of maple bats.
"The maple bat is turning into the Claymore mine of baseball," Maddon said. "I don't like it. ... Something needs to be done."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.