Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/21/13
BRADENTON, Fla. To him, small things meant the most: Facing hitters, hearing a public-address announcer introduce a batter, listening to walk-up songs again. Minor things. Things often overlooked, but rhythms of a life all the same. David Prices work to return to the Tampa Bay Rays rotation continued with his first minor league rehab start Friday, the latest step in a recovery process now in its fifth week. Were there nerves for the skilled left-hander? Some. Was the sensation welcomed? Absolutely. I wasnt nervous thinking about how I would feel, Price said. I was nervous, though. It was the first time I had been out there in six weeks. My legs, they were shaking. I felt like it was the first spring training outing or the first game of the year. Prices path back to being a consistent presence in the majors included another milestone at McKechnie Field. He threw 49 pitches (29 strikes) in 2 13 innings for Class A Charlotte against the Bradenton Marauders, a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate. He allowed two hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks. He had four strikeouts. He evaluated the outing, which included the odd sight of him wearing a No. 40 jersey, this way: Im never satisfied, but I felt good. That was the important thing, of course. There had been moments of playing catch, throwing bullpen sessions and a 54-pitch simulated game in recent weeks. But this was the first time since he strained his left triceps in an abbreviated outing against the Boston Red Sox on May 15 that the game feelings came back. He had missed the rush. He had missed his place. A ton, said Price, on the DL since May 16. This is what Ive done my entire life. This is what I want to do my entire life. To be on the DL for the first time and to miss starts and not go on road trips and not sit in the dugout, its tough. By all accounts, the day went as planned. Rays assistant trainer Paul Harker was present to observe. Afterward, Price said he was uncertain about the next step. But Rays manager Joe Maddon has suggested in recent weeks that the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner could return in early July after making at least one more rehab start. The sights Friday were a reminder of how Prices progress remains an interest in the region. When he was introduced before the game, light hollers lifted from the sparse early evening crowd. There was applause from fans as he walked from the bullpen area to the visitors dugout before the first inning. There was a louder reception when he approached the mound for the first time, throwing to catcher Jake DePew. When his appearance was over I didnt throw as much strikes as I wanted, Price said he walked off the field to a standing ovation by some. He tipped his cap toward the stands. He smiled and waved. Game feelings. Game comfort. It was good to have that feeling back, because I hadnt had it in awhile, Price said. So I just came out there. Being competitive, thats what you want to do. He was back to being competitive Friday. And for him, in a continued effort to return, it was a welcomed change. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cowboys and Cardinals will play in 2017 Hall of Fame Game

John Gillon’s winning shot helps Syracuse students in classroom

Vikings GM won’t commit to Adrian Peterson

Report: Ryan Tannehill’s knee healed, ready for OTAs

Rose complains about triangle offense as trade rumors swirl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid to miss next four games for 76ers

Vince Young attempting to trademark ‘Make Vince Great Again’

Report: Mavericks get Nerlens Noel in trade with 76ers

NASCAR announces four drivers will lend their voices to 'Cars 3'

Draymond Green video game highlights his groin-shot past

Paul George trade unlikely despite interest from Lakers and Celtics

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker