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David Price to AAA. How Will He React?

Earlier this spring I wrote about the possibility that Tampa Bay would option young starting pitcher David Price to the minors, who is held back from having the full deck of an ace by only his spotty change up command, and that Price might not take the demotion so well. In fact, he all but openly said he wouldn't take it well.

As of today, we get to see how he'll take it in real time.

According to the blog DRaysBay, Price was optioned to AAA Durham yesterday, as were four other prospects. The difference between Price's case and his new minor league compatriots is that he was a significant contributor to an American League championship run and pitched in the World Series last year, while they didn't.

So how is Price going to react? There haven't been any quotes from him about the demotion, but at least in the early going, he seems to be taking it all quietly. It's true that -- as DRaysBay has chronicled extensively -- Price needs to show improvement with both his change up and, possibly, re-find the slider that made him the most dominant pitcher in college baseball for a couple of years at Vanderbilt. Perhaps the Tampa Bay front office and Joe Maddon himself were able to get that concept through to Price eventually.

Or maybe the pitcher reached that point on his own. He's a smart guy, after all (the whole Vanderbilt education is a bit of a give away, isn't it?).

Then again, there's always a chance he could wind up in Durham, be stuck there for three months and, in the proverbial British slang, "throw his toys out of the pram." Just remember, this is what he said about the possibility of demotion just days ago:

"It's not very fun if I'm not here competing for a job," Price said. "That's what I came here for, to compete for that fifth spot, and that's what I want to do."

He didn't get what he wanted. Now we all get to see what he makes of it.

By Cameron Smith  |  March 26, 2009; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Rays  
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