Friday could turn out to be one of the biggest days of the season for the Rays. It all started innocently enough with a quick message on the Durham Bulls twitter account saying: +@#" and *#@+;! just got called up to the bigs. With that it was off to the races for journalists, bloggers, and other MLB rumor fans. Around lunchtime, it was confirmed that Dale Thayer and Reid Brignac were coming to the team. But, when who they were replacing wasn't confirmed the speculation just continues. Was a trade in the works? Was somebody hurt?
Soon, we knew the answer. Andrew Friedman flew down to Miami and let us know that Troy Percival and Scott Kazmir were on the disabled list and David Price was coming to the big leagues. That's right. The day we've all been waiting for starts on Monday. The Price era begins in Tampa Bay.
According to the St. Pete Times, manager Joe Maddon says it's likely Troy Percival will retire. He told the team his arm was numb when he took the mound the other day and couldn't let his teammates down any more. There's plenty of hate on Percy, but I think he was an integral part of getting this team to the next level last year. Who could forget in spring training when he compared the Rays starting rotation to the old Atlanta Braves rotation? He was a veteran leader that the bullpen missed in 2007. He helped teach guys like Balfour and Howell how to be effective. Many Rays fans I know blasted me for defending Percy as much as I did, but I will say that the team was better for having him here.
As for Scott Kazmir, it looks like a little rehab is just what the doctor ordered. I'm really rooting for Kaz. He's the single most successful pitcher in Rays history... and he's only 25. The Rays need this guy to get back to form if they're going to keep making runs this year and next. Just imagine the 2007 Kazmir following Price in the rotation with a Matt Garza and "Big Game" James Shields start thrown in there. The Yankees could only dream of buying such a rotation. The Red Sox would need more than Jason Bay to keep up. I think we haven't seen the last of Scotty Kazmir this year. I think once he clears his head and gets back on track, we'll see the Kaz of 2007. A guy, on a bad team, you didn't want to miss his start.