The Los Angeles Dodgers have been snakebit by injuries this season, particularly in bullpen, with David Price among the relief pitchers on the 10-day injured list.
Price suffered what was ultimately diagnosed as a Grade 2 right hamstring strain on April 25. The plan was for the left-hander to pitch multiple innings, but he wound up going just one, and the Dodgers blew a six-run lead in the late innings.
“Didn’t want to call a trainer out. In my head, I felt if nobody could see a difference, then I was OK to continue to throw,” Price explained. “Made some good pitches that inning, got that big double play ball. I didn’t think it was as bad as it could’ve been. I wasn’t going to call anybody out.”
Now nearing three weeks into his recovery, Price has cleared every hurdle without suffering a setback. The latest was throwing live batting practice at Dodger Stadium last Friday. “Did an up-down in live BP, so threw probably close to 30 pitches,” Price said.
“Threw the ball well, felt good, threw all my pitches, and covered first in my bullpen session on Tuesday. We’ve kind of checked all the boxes, so I’m just waiting for my next task.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the team would decide on what’s next for Price, who took the weekend off from throwing. L.A. was considering a second time of facing batters or being reinstated Monday, and the expectation is the latter.
“I feel like I am ready to go. I know how I’m going to feel [Saturday] by how I felt on the mound in my live BP and by how I feel right now. Arm, leg, hamstring, everything feels completely normal, if not better than normal,” Price said.
“I would love to get back out there and help these guys win as soon as possible. We haven’t discussed our next steps yet, but I’m sure we will at some point [Friday].”
Price settled into bullpen role
Taking on a role as a relief pitcher for the first time in his career came with an adjustment period for the 35-year-old. “I definitely kind of developed my own routine in the bullpen. Just staying ready, identifying the situations I would be in,” Price said.
He went 1-0 with one save and an inflated 5.59 ERA that was a byproduct of allowing a combined five runs in 3.2 innings pitched in his first two appearances. Price followed that with four scoreless appearances before allowing a run against the Padres his last time out.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!