The Los Angeles Dodgers opened the season with eight viable starting pitchers, which pushed David Price to the bullpen, where he stayed for most of the year.
However, after multiple injuries and the investigation into Trevor Bauer over alleged sexual assault that for now has him on administrative leave, Price has been in the process of stretching out as a starting pitcher to join Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin in the rotation.
After being limited to an opener role in prior outings, Price made a full-fledge start — albeit still building his innings — last week against the Colorado Rockies.
Price has maintained he is open to whatever role the Dodgers ask of, but he does appreciate the set schedule that comes from being in the rotation, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Honestly, I think it’s more mentally challenging as a reliever,” he said. “You have to be ready a lot more often. As a starter, you know when you’re going to be in the game. The game’s at 7:10. You know you’re going to be out there.”
This season, Price has a 3.12 ERA and 3.49 FIP in 34.2 innings, which is a strong overall line, but he has been much more effective as a starter.
In five starts, he has thrown 13.1 innings with a 2.03 ERA, 1.68 FIP, 28.1% strikeout rate and 5.3% walk rate. In 21.1 innings as a reliever, his ERA is 3.80 to go along with a 4.63 FIP and Price’s strikeout rate is about 10% lower.
While Price is more comfortable in the rotation, his ability and willingness to pitch in whatever role the Dodgers need him should help president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman as he looks to acquire pitching before the July 30 MLB trade deadline.
The Dodgers are reportedly focused on acquiring a starter, but won’t rule out upgrading their bullpen.
Gonsolin struggling with command
The Dodgers activated Tony Gonsolin from the 60-day injured list on June 9 and while he has been more effective than not, he is still struggling with command.
When he was asked how he felt his command has been this season, Gonsolin answered, “Really bad.” He also brought up there is a “mechanical aspect” to his struggles and that it has affected his velocity as well but he isn’t sure what the potential fix is.
“Right now I don’t really have an answer for you,” he added. “If I knew what was going to fix my command issues going on right now, I would do those. We’re going to take a little dive and see if we can figure it out.”
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