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Maddon being coy about Opening Day starter


PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Joe Maddon was coy when asked if he was ready to announce David Price as this year's Opening Day starter.

"We're going to wait a couple of more days to make that announcement," the Rays manager said. "… He's got what, a 20 percent chance [to be the starter]?"

Since Price is the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, there is little suspense surrounding the pending announcement, but he was not the Opening Day starter last season.

James Shields opened last season for the Rays based on his 2011 performance. He was traded to the Royals over the winter. Even if the veteran right-hander had remained with the team, it's likely Price would have won the honor based on last season, when he posted a 20-5 record with a 2.56 ERA in 31 starts.

Maddon said he expected to name his Opening Day starter next week, but he sounded unsure about when he would announce the order of the entire rotation.

"Probably just [announce the Opening Day starter] at that particular moment," Maddon said. "I'll talk to [pitching coach Jim] Hickey about it, how far he wants to go. The other guys, we'll probably wait just a little bit."

The Rays open the 2013 season on April 2 with a 3:10 p.m. ET contest against the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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