The Dodgers will be without the services or Trevor Bauer for the foreseeable future. With the loss of the starter, once again the rotation becomes a problem for LA. Manager Dave Roberts has said that David Price — a life-long starter — is a possibility when it comes to joining the rotation. However, he doesn’t know if it’s practical.
So why not ask Price instead?
That’s exactly what a group of reporters at Nationals Park did on Saturday. In fact, Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that Price would love the opportunity.
If they want me to start, yeah, that’s an opportunity I’ll take. The Dodgers always have a plan. I’m sure they have four or five plans at this point. I’m sure they have a lot of different things they’ve thought of for however many days we have left before the All-Star break to get us to that break. If that means me starting, then I’ll start.
Over 13 big league seasons, Price has done just that. 314 of his 343 career games have come as a starter, including 3 as an opener for the Dodgers this season.
It’s nice to have us sit here and say, yeah, just put him in the rotation already. But it’s important to take a step back and remember that Price opted out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns. And he’s been in the bullpen most of this season. His last fully built-up start at the big league level came all the way back in September of 2019 with the Red Sox.
For someone who’s now 35, it’s not as easy to just start picking up the ball every fifth day and give a team 5-6 innings. In all fairness, it’s not easy for anyone. Spring training lasts as long as it does each year primarily to allow pitchers to build up to a starter’s workload.
But if he says he’s ready, why not take his word on it?
I don’t think that it would, honestly, be too tough. I mean, I’ve never done it before. Just the way my arm has responded as a reliever. I think that can be a little more taxing than being a starter. Throwing back to back to back and five out of seven can be more challenging than getting ready to pitch once every five days and stuff like that. My arm has responded well and I feel really good.
If Price and the Dodgers laid out the plan to have him start building up his pitch count over the next month, he could potentially be ramped up to a starter’s workload by late August.
There’s a need in the rotation. And if you’re worried about losing a left-hander out of the bullpen, reliever Scott Alexander is expected back on Monday or Tuesday.
In the immortal words of Shia LaBeouf, just do it.