Dodgers News: David Price, Jimmy Nelson Formed Unexpected Bond

When the Los Angeles Dodgers reported for the start of Spring Training, manager Dave Roberts made it clear the club considered David Price and Jimmy Nelson as part of their starting pitching depth.

However, both pitchers were converted to roles as a reliever — with Price approaching Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to volunteer himself for the change in the best interest of the team.

The similar paths of being converted from starters to the bullpen culminated with Price and Nelson becoming catch partners near the end of spring, even if it has given the left-hander some pause at times.

“I have two kids and a wife at home, and sometimes I have to let the balls go because they are moving all over the place,” Price said. “It can be pretty scary at times, because his stuff is so sharp and it moves so much. I’m not used to that.

“We have formed a pretty good bond, he pushes me in our running programs after stretch and after catch. He pushes me to be better, so I really enjoy Jimmy.”

Despite not necessarily sharing many similarities with Nelson, Price added the two have continued to grow close.

“It definitely helps to be able to go through it with somebody else that’s kind of experiencing and kind of going through the same stuff that I am,” he said. “Me and Jimmy are pretty different in a lot of ways, and I think that’s kind of why we gel so well. He’s like my therapy animal.

“Like my therapy pet. Like the therapy dogs that you see at the hospital. They make everybody feel good, and Jimmy is a guy that makes me laugh. The stuff that he says, he needs to be mic’d up for ‘[Backstage] Dodgers.’ He has got so many one-liners.

“Every team needs a guy like Jimmy, just to lighten the mood. He’s been a lot of fun to be around and a pleasure to hang out with. I look forward to laughing at Jimmy whenever I go back in the clubhouse.”

Price, Nelson stabilizing bullpen

In addition to being natural starters who now are working out of the Dodgers’ bullpen, Price and Nelson have both improved since a rocky beginning to the season.

Price allowed a combined five earned runs in his first two appearances, but only one over nine innings in seven games since then.

Nelson has allowed just two earned runs in 16.2 innings pitched across his last 13 games (one start).

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