The Dodgers have done everything possible to keep David Price in the bullpen this season. They’ve called up spot starters and gone with bullpen games to try and get through various injuries, but the reality is finally starting to sink in: they need David Price to start.
Prior to their game on Friday, Dave Roberts fielded questions about the status of his pitching staff after such a rough stretch. The assumption among many has been that David Price would be the pitcher to step in, and Roberts all but confirmed that this would be the case going forward.
I think that’s a fair assumption given where we’re at as far as the starting pitching.
This may seem redundant, as Price has been the starting pitcher on three different occasions this year. The difference, however, is that he had only gone as deep as 2 innings in any of his appearances this season. That is, until Friday night.
David Price was able to give the team 3 solid innings in a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. For Price, this may not seem like much. But it signifies the start of what will be a process of stretching him out into a starter again.
It’s unrealistic to expect a 36-year-old pitcher who sat out all of 2020 to suddenly have the arm strength to throw 80-100 pitches every 5 days right away. Instead, the Dodgers will likely increase his pitch count with each start until he can go a solid 5-6 innings without any lingering issues.