Not Good Day for Dodger Pitching

Monday, March 2, 2020

Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Usually this spring, the Dodgers have received great starting pitching, but on Monday, both David Price and Julio Urias, making their Cactus League debuts, struggled.

Cody Bellinger was scratched from the lineup because of soreness in his side. The Dodgers are not worried about this, and tomorrow is an off day. They expect Bellinger to play Wednesday night.

Coming off a poor 2019 season, most people thought David Price as a throw-in in the Mookie Betts deal. This was not true. Although the Boston Red Sox wanted to dump Price’s humongous contract, the Dodgers needed an experienced starter.

At 34, Price probably has seen his best years in the Major Leagues behind him. However, he has experienced much success in the American League. For many years, baseball-knowledgeable people considered Price was the best right-hander in the American League. In 2012, he won the American League Cy Young Award, and he has gone to five All-Star games.

Having physical problems had caused Price to go to many American League organizations. He came up with the Tampa Bay Rays and paid a crucial role in the 2008 postseason. The Rays traded him to the Detroit Tigers in 2014. In Detroit, he performed well, but the Tigers traded Price at the 2015 trading deadline to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he succeeded.

Price signed a 7-year $214 million deal with the Red Sox just before the 2016 season. While with the Red Sox, he had ups and downs caused by health problems, elbow inflammation and a cyst on his left wrist, which was removed last September. Price helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series against the Dodgers.

With Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill leaving the Dodgers due to free agency, the Dodgers needed an experienced starter to go with Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Urias, and probably Alex Wood. If healthy, Price can make the rotation one of the best in the National League, but if he is not healthy, the Dodgers may have problems with their starting rotation.

Monday, a nervous Price didn’t look good though he struck out three Cincinnati Reds in 1.1 innings. His velocity and location were not good. The movement on his pitches was not there. Hopefully, in his next start, Price will fare better.

Whereas Price struggled, Urias was worse. Before spring training even began, Dodger President Andrew Friedman announced Urias would be in the starting rotation. Monday, he lasted only 2/3 innings. While in the past, he had good control of his four pitches, but Monday, he could not control anything. The Dodgers hope Urias will do better in his next outing.