With all the attention the Los Angeles Dodgers received for signing Trevor Bauer to a record-setting contract, it overshadowed a similarly important addition with David Price re-joining the team.
Price similarly was a viewed as a secondary piece when the Dodgers completed their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox last year to also acquire Mookie Betts. While Betts was instrumental in the Dodgers ending their World Series drought, Price watched from home after opting out due to concerns with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He has openly discussed how difficult of a decision that was, and conversely the ease that came with deciding to play this season. While Price was eager to reunite with his Dodgers teammates, that’s yet to manifest itself in a Cactus League game.
“He’s OK, he’s fine,” manager Dave Roberts answered when asked if Price had yet to make his 2021 debut due to injury. “Just threw a live [Wednesday], I think he’s going to throw a ‘pen [Saturday] or the next day and then he’ll be in games shortly thereafter. Feeling good.”
Considering Price hasn’t pitched in a regular-season game since Sept. 1, 2019, it would stand to reason the Dodgers are cautiously building up the veteran left-hander. “Right now we just feel like we have time. There’s no reason to push him right now,” Roberts explained.
Dodgers pleased with Bellinger’s progress
Similar to Price, Cody Bellinger has been limited to Spring Training workouts thus far. Bellinger remains on the mend from offseason shoulder surgery and has targeted the middle of March for his Cactus League debut.
“It’s progressing really well. He’s participating in all the fundamentals and all that stuff on the defensive side, baserunning, taking batting practice on the field now,” Roberts said. “Not sure when he’s going to get into some live situations with a pitcher, then to get into a game.
“But right now it’s tracking really well. As he’s stated, I’ve stated, I expect him to be ready for Opening Day, and that still remains the case. … Right now I like that idea of tracking pitches and getting in bullpens with pitchers. The next step obviously is to get out there and really take some at-bats.”
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