Although Mookie Betts was touted as a potential difference-maker when the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a trade with the Boston Red Sox, the organization was equally as bullish over the contributions David Price would make.
Price had undergone left wrist surgery to correct an issue that plagued him during the 2019 season. The veteran left-hander was confident in his health and believed he was going to be capable of making upwards of 32 starts.
Price was dominant in a second Spring Training start, but wound up opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19).
His unexpected absence created a bit of a domino effect, but Price explained during an appearance on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” that he was confident all along the Dodgers would succeed without him:
“At first it was really tough. Last year was the most baseball I ever watched, probably in my entire life. But knowing how much talent was in that clubhouse, in Spring Training seeing different guys throwing bullpens and in games, the guys that got sent down during Spring Training, knowing how talented they were and how the Dodgers have stockpiled talent whether it’s trough trades or really good drafts, I knew somebody was going to be able to step up and fill the role that I was going to play. Whether it was Gonso, Dustin May or Julio. They had so much talent. I knew they were going to be in a very good position.”
The Dodgers did have a surplus of starting pitching heading into last season, and Price electing not to play created an opportunity for Ross Stripling. He joined a starting rotation that featured Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Alex Wood.
Of course, the Dodgers’ depth was further tested when Kershaw was scratched from his Opening Day start and placed on the 10-day injured list due to back trouble.
The confidence Price had in Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May was well-founded, as both rookies wound up rising to the occasion for the Dodgers. Their emergence allowed the Dodgers some flexibility in trading Stripling, who was inconsistent in his return to the rotation.
L.A. now figures to be in strong position this season as Gonsolin and May gained valuable experience, and Price is expected to participate in the 2021 season.
What Price brings to Dodgers
With Price in the fold, the Dodgers have a formidable trio leading their rotation. He, along with Kershaw and Buehler, will be backed by some combination of Gonsolin, May and Urias.
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