Dodgers News: David Price Discussed Role Change With Andrew Friedman

Much of the discussions involving the starting pitching depth the Los Angeles Dodgers boast has centered around two of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias potentially beginning the regular season in the bullpen.

However, the Dodgers could just as well move veteran David Price into that role, which would free up a second spot in the Opening Day rotation. “I can see him pitching in any role that we have for him,” manager Dave Roberts said before Monday’s game.

“David, being the pro and teammate that he is, also voiced that. Whatever role we see is best for the Dodgers in 2021, that’s what he wants to do. That’s just a credit to him. But our job is still to build him up for whatever potentially could happen and continue to give us some options.”

Price made his 2021 Spring Training debut out of the bullpen — throwing a perfect inning after Julio Urias mowed his way through the Chicago White Sox lineup one time through. The plan is for Price to pitch two innings his next time out, but whether that’s a start or relief appearance is not set.

Although he’s built a successful career on being a starter, Price not only is open to a potential role change, but it was him who broached the topic with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

“Just being able to identify how much talent we have on this team from our starters. The young guys, especially. With Gonzo, D-May and Julio, those guys are next level,” Price explained.

“Right before we signed Trevor (Bauer), I reached out to Andrew and said, ‘If it happens, I’m willing to do whatever you guys need me to do. That’s a not a problem for me. Just keep me in the loop, let me know, and I’ll be ready for whatever.'”

Considering Price has not pitched since the 2019 season, it could behoove him and the Dodgers to start the season as a relief pitcher to more cautiously monitor workload.

Price mindful of finding routine

With the bulk of his experience coming as a starting pitcher, Price is aware that a change to the bullpen would also require finding a new routine to settle into. Waiting to enter Monday’s game caused its minor challenges.

“I think I walked up to the clubhouse probably three or four times just to do something so I wasn’t just sitting down there in the bullpen,” Price said. “If I am in the bullpen, just finding that routine that works for me.

“Knowing the amount of pitches I need to throw to be ready and just little stuff like that. Other than that, just kind of remembering myself out there. To get back into that environment was a lot of fun. I look forward to my next time out.”

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