Smyly says facing Price would have been fun

Smyly says facing Price would have been fun

ST. PETERSBURG -- Going strictly by when he last pitched five days ago, former Tigers lefty Drew Smyly, who was dealt to the Rays for David Price at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, would have been in line to start Thursday's series finale against his old team.

That would have made for quite the interesting matchup, as Price made his first start against Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Instead, because Tampa Bay had an off-day on Monday, Alex Cobb faced Price -- a marquee matchup in its own right -- while Smyly had the series off.

"It would've been cool [to pitch against Detroit]," Smyly said. "It would've been fun. But it is what it is."

Price, on the other hand, said before Tuesday's series opener that he would have rather had his slot in the rotation miss Tampa Bay.

The difference is understandable, as Price had spent his entire career with the Rays since he was first called up in 2008. The Tampa Bay clubhouse is full of close friends that will make for an awkward matchup.

Smyly is only 25, and he's only been in the league a few years. So he said this series isn't nearly as strange for him as it must be for Price.

"Maybe it'd be a little different if I was pitching," Smyly said. "It was good to say 'Hey' to those guys. You don't really see them much when you're not playing baseball, but it was good to say 'Hey.'"

David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.