Dodgers Mindful Of David Price’s Usage For Final Stretch Of Season
David Price
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers reported for Spring Training, they boasted an excess of starting pitchers and figured to move two of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias into the bullpen. However, then David Price provided them with more flexibility.

He expressed a willingness to shift to a relief role, and that wound up coming to fruition with the Opening Day rotation consisting of Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, Urias and May.

But a rash of injuries and Bauer remaining on administrative leave amid allegations over sexual assault have led to Price being inserted into the rotation.

Price’s latest appearance was back out of the bullpen as the Dodgers opted to use Corey Knebel as an opener. Price entered with two outs in the second inning and was removed with one out in the sixth.

“The command wasn’t what it normally is and the velocity was down a little bit too. It was a little bit of a grind,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the win.

“There wasn’t the swing and miss that he can get, whether it’s the cutter, changeup or sometimes sneaking a fastball by guys. He still gave us what we needed and gave us a chance to win a ballgame.”

While Price has filled a valuable swing role for the Dodgers and regularly said his arm and overall health are in good standing, the team is mindful of the left-hander coming off a year of not pitching.

“David is never going to run away from the baseball. That’s one of the many things that I love about him, but understanding what he did — or not playing last year — and what we’re counting on from him for this season, it’s a lot,” Roberts acknowledged.

“Starting, coming out of the ‘pen, spot starts and doing that, that’s a big ask but he’s doing it fantastic. I think for me it’s just make sure we take care of him and try not to push him too much because we value him a lot.”

Price hitting well

Despite going 0-for-2 on Saturday, he is still batting a more-than-respectable .267 this season. His success at the plate supports confidence and excitement Price expressed during an introductory press conference last year about being able to hit for himself in the National League.

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