As the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching carousel continued to turn, the 2021 MLB All-Star break provided much-needed time for the team to hit the reset button and make necessary adjustments to their starting rotation.
Though the Dodgers’ starting pitching has performed at a high level all year, it has been a challenge to keep all of the club’s starters in the rotation at the same time. Between Tony Gonsolin missing time at the beginning of the year due to a shoulder injury, Dustin May undergoing Tommy John surgery, Trevor Bauer being on administrative leave and Clayton Kershaw being placed on the 10-day injured list, the Dodgers have lost countless innings.
It’s unclear when Kershaw will make his return, and Bauer’s situation won’t have a resolution until July 27 at the earliest. In the absence of those two, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will have to strategically use the pitchers he still has at his disposal.
As such, Julio Urias is slated to start Friday against the Colorado Rockies in the first game of the unofficial second half of the season. He will be followed in the series by Walker Buehler, who did not appear in the All-Star Game.
After mulling over starting David Price in either the finale at Coors Field or Monday against the San Francisco Giants, he is listed as the probable to face the Rockies.
While Price is due to make another start and shoulder more than just a short-inning opener role, Roberts didn’t believe the veteran needed to use this week to stretch out.
“I don’t think David needs to,” Roberts said. “I think he’ll do stuff to keep his arm moving, but it’s not his first All-Star break. He’ll start, we’re talking about the third or fourth game coming out of the break.”
Roberts believes the All-Star break will have proven valuable not just for the pitching staff, but for the Dodgers collectively. The club has dealt with substantial injuries all season and has many young players who might not be used to the physical demand of a full 162-game slate.
“I think it’s good for everyone,” Roberts explained. “For the guys that are going, the coaches that are going, it’s certainly an honor, and we’ll get a couple days (of rest) on the backend.
“But the guys that aren’t going, I hope they take the time to reset, spend time with their friends and family, and get ready for the sprint in the second half.”
Price open to Dodgers’ needs
The Dodgers to this point had been reluctant to stretch out Price despite needs for starting pitching arising. Through it all, the left-hander has maintained he will do whatever the team asks and requires.
Price also dismissed the notion that potentially stretching out during the season to join the rotation would present much of a challenge.
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