Tampa Bay Rays pitcher and reigning American League Cy Young award winner David Price knows that Tampa Bay's latest trade left a void in the rotation. With James Shields now on the Kansas City Royals, Price acknowledged on Tuesday the fact that the rest of the Rays starting pitchers, including Price, need to "step up and pitch better" in 2013:
"Everybody, including myself, needs to step up and pitch better this year. That's our plan right now. That's what we're working out (in the off-season) for. ... Everyone's going to step up.''
Price went 20-5 for the Rays in 2012, with a 2.56 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, while striking out 205 in 211 innings of work, en route to winning the AL Cy Young. If Price steps up and pitches even better than that in 2013, then he'll be poised to win another Cy Young -- and the Rays will likely be in playoff contention.
After Price, the Rays will have a bit of youth in the rotation. Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore will look to improve on their 2012 seasons -- and Moore is a solid bet to breakout in his sophomore season. Alex Cobb, Jeff Niemann and Chris Archer all figure to battle for rotation spots as well, as the Rays look toward young pitchers to replace Shields.