Thanks to a great late season run and a tremendous pitching staff, the Tampa Bay Rays snuck into the playoffs last year only to have that ride come to an end at the hands of the Texas Rangers. However, the future is bright in Tampa Bay. Despite playing in the American League East, baseball’s toughest division, the Rays should be right back in the playoff mix again this season. Tampa Bay already has one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball led by David Price, and they went out this offseason hoping to boost their offense. The Rays brought Carlos Pena back to the place where he played his best baseball, and if their bats can pick it up in 2012, the Rays will be awfully dangerous.
David Price joined 104.5 the Zone in Nashville to talk about the last day of the regular season a year ago when the Rays completed their wild card race comeback to qualify for the postseason, what the mindset is heading into spring training, what he plans on focusing on in spring training, and whether or not he would like to bat again like he used to.
What he remembers most about the last day of the regular season a year ago:
“I guess the fact that we won. Nobody really expected us to do that and that was a pretty special day. Starting in September being I think eight games back and nobody in baseball had ever done that. It was a special time for me and my teammates and it was a lot of fun.”
On the mindset heading into spring training:
“To win again. I feel like our General Manager Andrew Friedman and the Rays organization has done a great job of, I guess they identified what we needed at the end of last year and they went out and they’ve done a good job of that. They got some more power at the plate with Carlos Pena and Luke Scott and added some more arms in the bullpen. I feel like this might be the best Rays team that I have ever been on.”
On the things that he would like to focus on this spring:
“I mean it’s everything. I want to continue to grow in every facet of pitching. Like you said just knowing what pitch to throw in what situation and I guess just being a more intelligent pitcher at times. That’s something that everybody can work on and there’s nothing that I have mastered about the game of baseball. I can continue to work on everything and that is my plan.”
How he feels about hitting:
“I love it. I absolutely love it and I think next year is going to be a blast because we go to inter-league play all year long so hopefully I will get about 10 or 11 inter-league starts and get about 50 or 60 at bats and hit a couple of home-runs and do some cool stuff at the plate.”