After opting out of the 2020 season, David Price came into the new year looking to help contribute on the Dodgers pitching staff in any way he could. However, the addition of Trevor Bauer, as well as the growth of Dustin May, pushed Price into the bullpen with a possible swingman role.
Fast forward to the present and things haven’t gone according to plan. Bauer and May were lost for the season while Tony Gonsolin and Clayton Kershaw have spent months on the Injured List. With all of the unforeseen dents to the Dodgers rotation, Price was called upon to step up and fill in.
While he wasn’t able to contribute anywhere close to the levels of Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, or Julio Urías, Price was able to eat up valuable innings to save the bullpen. Now with the return of Gonsolin and Kershaw’s return just on the horizon, DP’s role will undergo a change once again. Dave Roberts spoke on what it could look like moving forward.
“It’s kind of where we originally intended – to take down leverage innings in the pen, he gets left and right out. He can go two innings, he can go 3 if we need it, (or) if it’s an inning for a short burst and be ready for the next day. Now it’s kind of settling back into the role we had intended for him at the outset.”
Price hasn’t appeared in a game since September 5th, which was two days after being scratched from appearing in a game against the Giants due to an elbow issue. Despite this absence from the mound, Doc mentioned that Price was ready to get to work.
“David and injuries, I don’t think I’ll ever know the whole truth. He said he’s good to go. I don’t think it’s an issue tight now. I think that getting that blow that he had a week ago helped staying away from him. He’s online and he’s gonna help us in whatever role we need.”
With the rotation getting healthy just in time for the team’s last couple of weeks, David Price’s shoot back into the pen becomes crucial. His ability to eat up innings there and allow other relievers to rest will pay dividends come October.