The Los Angeles Dodgers made multiple changes to their roster for the National League Division Series, with the most notable additions being Walker Buehler and David Price.
They essentially took the spots of Zach McKinstry and Luke Raley, who were active for the Wild Card Game. Buehler was left off the first postseason roster due to effectively being unavailable after pitching on the last day of the regular season.
As for Price, his exclusion was largely a matter of opponent and the Cardinals lineup being right-handed heavy.
Price had an up-and-down first season with the Dodgers but particularly struggled down the stretch, leading some to wonder why the club opted for the veteran left-hander over Justin Bruihl on the NLDS roster.
“Certainly the experience, the ability to add some length, a neutral arm,” manager Dave Roberts explained of the decision to go with Price instead of Bruihl.
“I think with Justin, certainly has done some really good things for us in a small sample. I think kind of where we feel him going up and down or back-to-back, right now we’re just not 100% percent comfortable with.”
As Roberts noted, Price has plenty of experience pitching in the postseason as he’s made 23 appearances and 14 starts over his 13-year career. The 36-year-old can also provide multiple innings out of the bullpen, whereas Bruihl is more limited in that regard.
Price did not pitch in Games 1 and 2, but the Dodgers won’t hesitate to deploy him in the right situation. “I think with David it’s more of obviously we have a lot of leverage arms that are neutral,” Roberts answered when asked of Price’s role in the postseason.
“I think he’s neutral. So just find lanes that make sense, leverage that makes sense, and we’ll deploy him.”
Price could serve as opener in potential Game 4
With Game 4 now a certainty, the Dodgers will consider using Price as an opener given the Giants’ struggles against left-handed pitchers this season. “I think anything should be on the table,” Roberts said.
“So for us to continue to see where we’re at in this series come Game 4, whether how the series is at, the shape of our ‘pen, all that kind of stuff certainly has to play into the decision-making.”
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