The Dodgers could have a lot of competition in their bullpen for the 2022 season. With so many guys vying for relief jobs this year, there will be very little room for error for the guys that do make it. That would include David Price, who is playing in the final year of his contract.
Price’s role on this Dodgers team has been a mystery early on in camp. There are better arms out there, and it’s unclear what direction they want to go with him given his ineffectiveness over the last year or so. DP pitched in 39 games during the 2021 season, putting together a 4.03 ERA and a mediocre 4.23 FIP.
Most of that was done out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. Price had not appeared in a Spring Training game this year up until last night. But when he finally did get in there, he was putting up wild numbers on the scoreboard with his velocity. Price was reportedly touching 93 mph on his fastball, earning two punchouts in the process.
David Price with a 1-2-3 inning with two Ks in his first frame of Cactus League play. Scoreboard radar gun had him up to 93 mph.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 31, 2022
Price averaged 92 mph on his fastball during the 2021 season, up from his 2019 numbers. And while that small jump in velocity last night may not look impressive, it’s incredible that he’s sitting there in his very first Spring Training appearance. Pitchers usually take a little while to build up to their full velocity coming into camps.
If he really has found some velocity this year, that could play up big time for Price out of the bullpen. It sounds like the current plan is for the Dodgers to utilize him there in a one-inning role. At his very best, Price was hitting up near 95 on his heater, and it’s been a while since he sat there.
But last night did inspire a lot of hope for what he could bring to this team.