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David Price ready to lead Rays pitching staff

The Rays' pitching staff will have a new look in 2013 without veterans James Shields and Wade Davis. Left-hander David Price says that everyone will have to step up next season.

David Banks

With James Shields and Wade Davis headed to Kansas City, David Price is ready to help fill the leadership void in the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse. But the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner knows that he can't make up for Shields and Davis on his own. Price told the media on Tuesday,

"Nobody needs to try to take everything on, put everything on their back, and that's including myself... I'm just going to treat it the same way, go out there and try to give us a chance to win every fifth day. I think that's the most important thing that Shields kind of showed me, was taking that ball every fifth day."

With the departure of Shields and Davis, the Tampa rotation becomes one of the youngest in the majors. Only Jeff Niemann, 29, is older than Price -- who is 27. The pitching staff will be rounded out by youngsters Matt Moore (23), Jeremy Hellickson (25), Alex Cobb (25), and possibly Chris Archer (24). Last season, the Rays had the best team ERA in the majors (3.19).

Much of Tampa Bay's recent success has come thanks to strong young pitching. Price seems willing and able to mentor younger pitchers, just as Shields once did for him.

"If they want to look to me for advice, I'm an open book and they know that. They know they can come up and talk to me whenever they want. Everybody's going to step up, and first and foremost, we're going to have fun."

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.