Dodgers News: David Price Starting Series Opener Against Diamondbacks To Begin Building Up As Starter
David Price
Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers began the 2021 season with one of the deepest starting rotations in all of baseball. But now as the unofficial first half of the season comes to a close, that depth has all but shriveled up.

Dustin May underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in May, Trevor Bauer was placed on Administrative Leave amid sexual assault allegations and Clayton Kershaw is currently sidelined with left forearm inflammation.

At the moment, the Dodgers only have three healthy starting pitchers on the active roster in Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin. The club has relied on several bullpen games in the past week to help weather the storm but will soon need a more permanent solution.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hinted that could come in the form of David Price building up as a starter. “Yeah. I know obviously with Clayton going on the IL now, you’re looking at Walker, Julio, Gonsolin and I think that as we look out into the near future I think David Price, the idea of building him up starts to make more sense,” Roberts said.

“And then outside of that we’ve got to kind of figure out, once we get to the break we’ll have a clearer picture. But like I said, our guys are always looking to put on a glove and certainly with what’s going on with our pitching, we’re very mindful of that.”

Price has been effective as a multi-inning reliever this season but presumably could move to the starting rotation without issue given his prior experience.

The left-hander will take the first step by starting Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the expectation is that he’ll be able to pitch three innings.

The Dodgers previously were reluctant to remove Price from his relief role this season but realize there’s a sense of urgency to add stability to the rotation. “Probably not,” Roberts answered when asked if the Dodgers can make it through the second half of the season with Price in the bullpen.

Roberts unsure how long Kershaw will be sidelined but ‘not too concerned’

The Dodgers figure to have a better idea on the severity of Kershaw’s injury when he undergoes an MRI this weekend in L.A., but until then, it’s anyone’s guess how long he will be sidelined.

“I don’t know how long it’s gonna be,” Roberts said after Wednesday’s loss to the Miami Marlins. “I think we’re trying to be smart about this understanding that we have the All-Star break.

“So just skip a start before the break, reassess where he’s at then make a decision. Obviously there’s a lot left in the season so kind of pushing through this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He felt it in catch play a couple days ago so we just want to try to get ahead of it.”

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