The Rays left-hander felt unusually sore after his start last Sunday in Toronto, so Tampa Bay decided it was best to skip his turn in the rotation and plug in right-hander Chris Archer in Price's place against Texas.
"I've never really had soreness in my shoulder," Price said. "Kind of just caught me off-guard a little bit. I didn't know what was going on. [Head athletic trainer] Ron [Porterfield] sat me down and said it's a good time for you to just kind of miss a start right now. Get that extra rest and come back ready to throw."
Andrew Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, said a situation like Price's is "obviously something that we monitor closely."
"It's not a big situation right now," Friedman said. "It's not a big deal, and it's something that we wanted to be aggressive to get in front of to make sure that it wouldn't become a bigger deal."
Price, who is 17-5 with a 2.54 ERA, visited Dr. Koco Eaton for tests and will continue to be evaluated every day. Friedman reiterated that Price is expected to miss only one start and should slot back into the rotation at some point during next weekend's series against the Yankees in New York.
"There's a lot of mileage that these guys put on their bodies throughout the course of a year," Friedman said. "It's one of those things that happens fairly frequently throughout the course of a season, and it's really us being cautious and backing it up, missing a turn, and hopefully putting [Price] in a position to finish strong."
Price said the soreness did not come from any one pitch he threw during his last start. And he said he felt good after playing catch on Friday.
"It's just the first shoulder soreness I've ever really had in my life, so it was something that we were being very cautious with," Price said. "Played catch today felt very good."
Price noted that being pain free while playing catch was a big relief.
"It's just a trust issue with myself and making sure that it is fine," Price said. "I do believe that it is fine. I feel all good today."
Price plans to throw a bullpen on Sunday or Monday, then make his next start.
Archer, who was recalled to join the Rays on Friday, has gone 0-2 in two Major League starts despite a 3.86 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings. He pitched most of the season for Triple-A Durham, putting together a 3.66 ERA with 139 strikeouts in 128 innings, and was originally expected to be used this month with the Rays in an effort to limit the number of innings thrown by young right-hander Alex Cobb.
"There were a lot of different scenarios, depending on what we did with different pitchers and how things shook out," Friedman said. "[Archer] wanted to get up here and help us as quickly as possible.
"From that standpoint, [Archer] was excited -- obviously not with why, but he's ready to go, and he's someone that we have a lot of confidence in."
Archer smiled easily when asked about starting on Saturday against the Rangers.
"Any time you get the opportunity to take the ball in the big leagues, it's super exciting," Archer said. "You try not to get to overwhelmed with everything. But it's always exciting."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less