Dodgers News: David Price Trying To ‘Develop Own Routine’ As Reliever

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t decide on a fifth starter for their Opening Day rotation until the final days of Spring Training. Dustin May eventually earned the final spot, edging the likes of Tony Gonsolin, Jimmy Nelson and David Price.

Each of the aforementioned pitchers had previous Major League experience in the bullpen, so it’s no surprise they all made the Opening Day roster as relievers.

Of the three, however, Price is the least experienced in the bullpen. He primarily pitched there during his rookie season in 2008 before carving out an excellent career as a starting pitcher.

The left-hander’s willingness to take on a relief role is part of the reason why Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was comfortable naming May the No. 5 starter.

So far, Price’s transition to the bullpen hasn’t been the smoothes. He’s allowed nine hits, five runs and three home runs in his first two appearances of the season.

“I think just kind of developing my own routine. Identifying what situations I might be in the game, just knowing when to get up and start stretching, stuff like that,” Price said of his biggest challenge thus far.

“Whenever I’m out on the mound, I feel good, both mentally and physically. I’m just kind of lacking the execution right now. That’s something I’ve always done a really good job of: moving the baseball in and out, fastball, changeup, cutter, whatever I’m throwing.

“Right now that is kind of the thing I’m lacking right now: that execution on my pitches. Threw a light side today and everything felt really good. Executed pitches. To me, that is what I’m lacking right now.”

As Price grows more comfortable as a reliever, the plan is to keep him in the bullpen for the foreseeable future. “I think relieving is what is going on right now,” Price said of potentially moving back to the starting rotation.

“Just kind of developing that routine, talking to guys in the bullpen, picking up little things they’re doing to stay loose, stay fresh and stay ready.

“Arm has bounced back good between outings, I felt good playing catch. Just trying to kind of develop my own routine down there.”

Price hopes to eventually pitch on back-to-back days

Price’s second relief outing of the season came on two days’ rest. He eventually hopes to be able to make back-to-back appearances if the Dodgers need him to.

“We haven’t had those discussions. We talk after an outing, how I feel,” Price said. “I bounce back really good and I told them I’m good to go after I’ve thrown. I’m sure at some point I will get in there on back-to-back days, and I look forward to that.”

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