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Dave Roberts on David Price: ‘The idea of building him up starts to make more sense’

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Price is expected to pitch three innings or so on Friday

Chicago Cubs v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

With the Dodgers down to three starting pitchers on the active roster, any type of length from their pitchers is welcome at this point. So far the Dodgers have resisted turning to David Price — with 314 career starts under his belt — to start anything but a bullpen game this season.

But circumstances can change things.

With Clayton Kershaw placed on the injured list, his Friday start is now up for grabs. Price was held back from pitching in Wednesday’s bullpen game so he’d be available for bulk innings in Friday’s home opener against the Diamondbacks. Dave Roberts said it hasn’t been decided whether Price will start on Friday, but the plan is for him to pitch three innings.

That would be the start of extending Price a little bit longer each start until he can be reasonably expected to pitch five or six innings each time out. That was old hat many times for Price, a former Cy Young Award winner and top-two finisher two other times.

Price averaged 32 starts and 218 innings from 2010-16, during which he was an All-Star five times. But elbow injuries in 2017 and wrist injuries in 2019 limited his time on the mound, such that he averaged just 21 starts and 119 innings in his last three seasons in Boston.

The left-hander opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns, and is now a 35-year-old who hasn’t pitched more than 107⅓ innings in a season in three years.

Price has said numerous times he’d pitch in any role the Dodgers wanted him in. For most of the season, that’s been in shorter relief stints, the best way the staff felt he would stay healthy all season and be ready and effective in October.

To date, his longest appearance this year is 2⅔ innings. But with Trevor Bauer on administrative leave and Kershaw now on the injured list, Price could be set up to surpass that a few times, at least in the short term.

“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. “Once we get to the break, we’ll have a clearer vision.”

Links

From Monday night in Miami, Kenley Jansen discussed not making the All-Star team with Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times: “Laughing in disappointment ... It’s like an insult, kind of. I guess I gotta put up a zero ERA and have zero blown saves, probably, for me to get recognized.”

The planned Trevor Bauer bobblehead giveaway on August 19 at Dodger Stadium has been scrapped. In addition, no Bauer merchandise is available at the stadium or on the team website or MLB.com. From Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register:

A Dodgers spokesman said the decision was made because the team “did not feel it was appropriate” to have the promotion or continue to sell the merchandise “while investigations continue by Major League Baseball and the Pasadena Police Department.”

Wednesday was an anniversary of a Dodger Stadium moment: