David Price Battled Nervousness, Shaky Legs In Dodgers Debut
David Price, 2020 Spring Training
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Just before the start of Spring Training, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox.

While Betts was obviously the headliner of the deal, Price is a former five-time All-Star and Cy Young Award winner in his own right and should slot in nicely behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

The left-hander made his Dodgers debut on Monday, getting the start against the Cincinnati Reds. On the surface, the outing may have not looked that good as Price allowed three hits and two runs while striking out three and walking two on 39 pitches over just 1.1 innings.

Considering everything he has been through since last season, Price was just happy to get back on a mound even if it meant dealing with nervousness, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

“It’s been a while since I faced hitters wearing a different jersey,” said Price. “Where I’m at in Spring Training, two live [batting practices] and first outing, it’s very positive for myself. First time I’ve been in a game for six, almost seven months. My legs were shaking out there. If you love what you do, you’re going to have nerves and I definitely had them out there today. It was fun. I enjoyed getting back out there. Wasn’t missing by much. For the first time, I’m OK with it.”

Price underwent surgery to remove a triangular fibrocartilage cyst from his left wrist last year and it cost him most of the final two months of the 2019 season. Despite the poor results on Monday, he seemed to be healthy and showed no signs of the wrist issue that bothered him for multiple years.

One mechanical change that Price is making this spring is pitching exclusively out of the stretch, which he believes will disrupt hitters’ timing. If he can stay healthy then it would not be surprising to see him have success in a Dodger uniform in 2020.

At 34 years of age, Price is in the second half of his career. He has still been solid when healthy though, helping the Red Sox win a World Series as recently as 2018. He has three years and $96 million remaining on his contract, which Boston is paying approximately half of.

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