David Price very likely won’t be pitching bulk innings for the Dodgers on Friday after all. The veteran left-hander is dealing with arm issues that manager Dave Roberts didn’t want to expand on before the series opener against the Giants.
Roberts said Price has been dealing with arm soreness for a little while, and it came to a head after his last game, pitching 3⅔ innings last Saturday against the Rockies.
Roberts later clarified to beat reporters in San Francisco that Price is dealing with elbow soreness.
Dave Roberts said David Price is dealing with a sore elbow. Sounds like he’ll end up on the injured list.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) September 4, 2021
Roberts changed course after the game and said Price would remain active on Saturday, and amazingly would have pitched the 13th inning on Friday had the game lasted a little bit longer.
Per Baseball Savant, Price threw six four-seam fastballs that averaged 92.2 mph in that game. Over his last seven appearances, Price’s fastball averaged 92.3 mph, down a tick from his 93.4-mph average in his first 26 games this season.
An injured list stint was being considered for Price, but for now he’s just be day-to-day.
“It’s nothing that’s going to be a big deal,” Roberts said. “It’s just kind of making sure that we don’t let it become such.”
Price has a 3.88 ERA and 3.95 FIP in 33 games this year, with 55 strikeouts and 20 walks in 67⅓ innings. He joined the starting rotation on July 9, after Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list, and since then Price has pitched on a starter’s schedule with regular rest, save for a one-inning relief appearance on August 1. He has a 4.08 ERA and 4.09 FIP during that time, averaging 4.30 innings per start/bulk outing, completing five innings just twice in nine games.
This came after pitching zero innings in 2020, opting out of last season due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We’re looking at what David did last year versus what he’s done this year, it’s a lot as far as workload,” Roberts said. “To get him a little reprieve and get him back, and get some of that soreness out, he should be fine.”
The Dodgers called up Andrew Vasquez on Thursday, giving them three left-handed pitchers in the bullpen, along with Alex Vesia and Justin Bruihl. Vasquez is wearing uniform number 68.
On the mend
Max Scherzer, who left his dominant start on Wednesday after just six innings and 76 pitches with hamstring tightness, ran on the field and played catch in San Francisco on Friday and will throw his bullpen session on Saturday. Scherzer is scheduled to start the Dodgers’ series opener on Monday afternoon against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Clayton Kershaw pitched a two-inning simulated game on Friday, and will throw a bullpen session this weekend before heading out on a minor league rehab assignment, expected to be three innings on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“After he goes through that, we would assume healthy and all goes well, his next outing would be with us,” Roberts said.
If all goes well, it sure seems the Dodgers home series against the Diamondbacks from September 13-15 would be a potential landing spot for a possible Kershaw return from the injured list.
Tony Gonsolin will throw three innings on a rehab assignment for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. His next step after that is to be determined, but possible activation could follow soon after.