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Dodgers Continue to Insist David Price Will Not Be Their Fifth Starter

He can do it, but Dave Roberts says no.



The Dodgers are going to continue with the 4-man starting rotation moving forward. Ever since Dustin May went down needing Tommy John surgery this year, the plan seems to be to wait until Tony Gonsolin is ready. There are other guys that can do it, but that has not changed Dave Roberts’ mind. 

One of those guys that could be stretched out as a starter is David Price. He made another bullpen start for the Dodgers on Thursday night, and he obviously has experience as a starter. But that’s not a focus for the team right now. 

When asked about the possibility of converting Price back to a starter before the game, Doc once again defaulted to Tony Gonsolin. The Dodgers want to wait for him to get healthy, and they’re fine going with 4 starters until then.

I think right now we just love where he is at taking down 1 inning, 1 plus, and having him be more relevant in more games. But in this situation right now, we just need little bit more, it’s just not ideal. We just need Tony [Gonsolin] to come back to slide into that starter role, and then get David more relevant in more games each week.

The problem is that Gonsolin will need at least 2 more rehab starts to return to the Dodgers big league squad. That puts him a little over 2 weeks out from the team having a full starting rotation. Until then, they will go with bullpen games as needed. 

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But not stretching out Price to potentially start games could be a mistake. The Dodgers seem to be betting big not only on Gonsolin being 100 percent but on their rotation staying healthy all year. But for his part, Price has been great in the role they have given him.

He tossed 2.2 scoreless innings on Thursday night and punched out 5 Giants batters.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Roberts got away with it yesterday but again., as I said it before this BP games scenario could blow up in Robert’s face and it would serve him right IMHO. I just couldn’t believe dumb Robert’s took Price out after 2.2 innings after striking out 5 batters. And it almost cost him with what that Vesia did, coming in and walking 2 batters. And don’t think these BP won’t haunt Robert’s late in the year. As this page says, it could be a mistake here on the Dodgers part.

    • Paul, I agree completely. When May and Gonsolin were both available, I saw no reason to use Price as a starter. Now May is out for the year, and Price should be the 5 starter until Gonsolin gets back. Or at least let him go as deep as he can in a “bullpen” game. If he’s shutting down the opposing team, leave him in. See if you can get 6 or 7 innings out of him. I have not been a fan of Price since he arrived. But he looks pretty good now. And there’s a present need for a 5 starter. Let the guy pitch.

      • Dodger 106W, I would have liked to see Price in for at least the 4th or 5th inning. Now if the starters or anyone of them for the remainder of this weekend series has to be pulled early the Roberts will be in a bit of a hurt. Not only that, by having BP games Roberts willingly plays with a short bench with only 12 position players. We have seen how he has to let a pitcher take that AB early in the game because he can’t afford to use a PH too soon.

  2. Why not stretch Price out a little further every BP game? He could always go back to pen when Gonsolin gets back.

    • If they don’t want to use Price as a starter permanently then just let him pitch as a starter while Gonsolin heals then when he’s ready to get back then put Price back into the bullpen. What’s wrong with that?

  3. Logic, reason, common sense have no place in the decisions being made, That’s why the comments section is so full of frustration, and always will be. You can read between the lines of the thoughts of the dodger announcers as they painfully bite their tongues at the decisions being made.

  4. Can’t blame these BP games and not using DP as a 5th starter all on Doc. There’s no logic or reasoning behind the timing of changes and who is being used, except the 8th and 9th. These scratch-your-head moves are made somewhere else from the dugout by these computer geeks who have never played in the major leagues. You still can play a BP game and still save some arms if know how to use your gut feelings and some balls to buck the script of management nerds. Almost lost it w/ Vesia, who couldn’t put away Wood & walking the next guy on 4 straight balls; and Gonzalez, grooving a middle-middle pitch for a 2-run homer. Price was in rhythm and Kelly had the Giants guessing….. both could have completed their inning w/ no stress and anxiety. Now if they got in a little bit of trouble, you can the move that best suits getting the next 3 batters out.

  5. Welll the way Buehler played the other day, I would not discount Price.The Dodgers might want to rethink that!! He’s proven himself on other teams!! Could be a MAJOR MISTAKE not to use him as a starter. You nothing to loose, everything to gain!! Afterall you signed right?

  6. I believe Price is a better pitcher the Gonsolin. As a matter of watching the Dodgers for the time he has been around, Price beats him out all the way. He has never really started and the games he did he lost. I am uncertain why the management wants Gonsolin so bad as a starter. What an I missing.

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