Dodgers Spring Training: David Price Searching For Feel With Changeup

Regardless of what role the Los Angeles Dodgers will ultimately ask David Price to fill come the regular season, he remains on a progression for that of a starting pitcher as Spring Training nears its conclusion.

After making a pair of relief appearances in Cactus League play, Price took the mound Thursday at Salt River Fields for his first start of the year. He was expected to go three innings but fell one out short of reaching the targeted goal.

Price navigated his way through some traffic in each of the first two innings, but it caught up to him in the third. The Arizona Diamondbacks strung together four consecutive singles to open the inning and get on the scoreboard.

Arizona scored a second run on a double play with the bases loaded, and Price wound up being removed at 49 pitches after issuing a walk. Although Price is encouraged by his health, getting command of pitches remains a work in progress.

“Kind of just refining everything and getting a feel for all my pitches is the one thing I’m struggling with,” Price admitted after his outing. “The way the ball is coming out of my hand, right now I think the biggest thing is with my changeup.

“A lot of them are cutting. None of them have had that downward depth I usually get on that pitch, so it’s something I’ll be able to work on tomorrow and the next day in my bullpen. Once I can get that pitch rolling the right way, it just makes pitching a lot easier for myself and opens up a lot more doors.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attributed Price’s elevated changeup to simply the environment in Arizona. “I think his changeup is a plus-pitch,” Roberts added. “Today it just didn’t have that depth late, but it’s still a plus-pitch.”

Price reveled in base hit

During an introductory press conference last year, Price spoke with excitement over the prospect of getting to bat for himself now in the National League. That of course never came to fruition in 2020, but will this season.

Price’s first at-bat of the spring was a hard-hit single into left field and he later scored on an error. “That was by far my best hit in the big leagues. I don’t care if it came in Spring Training,” Price said.

“To be able to get a ball on the barrel and hit it to the outfield grass, that was cool. To do it off of a friend in Merrill Kelly, that makes it a little bit more special.”

Price also claimed it was his first time ever reaching second base, but he went first to third on an Andrew Benintendi ground-rule double during the 2019 season.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!