David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Among the worst possible news for a team in a death struggle for a postseason berth?
Your ace starting pitcher has a shoulder injury, and will be sidelined.
Here's your among-the-worst-possible-news, Tampa Bay Rays:
David Price to miss start Sat w/ sore shoulder. Chris Archer called up toreplace him. Price leads AL w/ 17 Ws, 2nd in MLB with 2.54 ERA.— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) September 7, 2012
This is obviously a big blow to Price's Cy Young candidacy, as he'll need every win he can get, to hold off Justin Verlander and Felix Hernández, both of whom have pitched slightly better than Price but can't match his wins.
Much worse for the Rays, though, who need every win they can get, to hold off the Yankees and the Orioles and the A's and the Angels in the battle for one of three available playoff spots. This weekend the Rays host the Rangers, who happen to lead the American League in scoring.
One palliative: Chris Archer's pitched well this season in Triple-A, and also looked pretty good in his two June starts with the big club. Tampa Bay's farm system is the gift that just keeps on giving, especially when it comes to starting pitchers. In those two June starts, though, he faced the Nationals and the Royals; the Rangers should prove a somewhat tougher chore.
The real concern, of course, is that Price has to miss more than one start. About that, though, we can only wait.