Price back soon; Belli, McKinstry rehab near

May 15th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander completed the next step in his rehab process on Friday, a two-inning, 30-pitch live batting practice session at Dodger Stadium.

It was the second time in the last week that Price threw to hitters off the mound at Dodger Stadium. Price won’t throw for the next two days, but if his body feels good, he will either be activated early next week or he’ll go through one more live BP.

Either way, Price is close to returning, which is good news for the Dodgers.

“He looked good,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Looked good, the arm was good, the execution was good.”

Price has been sidelined since sustaining a Grade 2 right hamstring strain on April 25 against the Padres. The veteran said he suffered the injury mid-inning as he faced Padres utility man Jake Cronenworth. Price, who hasn’t had any hamstring issues in the past, believed he was fine and continued to throw that inning. After the frame, the Dodgers pulled Price from the game.

Now, he says he feels even better than before the injury.

“I feel like I’m ready to go,” Price said. “I know how I’m going to feel tomorrow by how I felt on the mound in my live BP and how I feel right now. Arm, leg, hamstring, everything feels completely normal, if not better than normal. I would love to get back out there and help these guys win as soon as possible.”

Getting Price back would give the Dodgers’ bullpen a much-needed boost. With Scott Alexander, Corey Knebel and Brusdar Graterol all sidelined with injuries, the Dodgers have relied on young pitchers such as Garrett Cleavinger, Alex Vesia and Mitch White.

Price would be an upgrade for the Dodgers, as he was starting to settle into his new role as a reliever. After two shaky starts to begin his season, Price posted a 1.50 ERA over his last five appearances.

Bellinger, McKinstry getting closer to rehab
Getting Price back on the mound would be big, but the positive injury updates didn’t stop there for Los Angeles. Star outfielder and utility man are getting closer to heading for rehab assignments.

Bellinger, who has been out since April 6 with a hairline fracture of his left fibula, posted a video on Instagram of him running. Roberts said Bellinger was running at 19 mph and that it was at “about 80 percent,” which is a big progression from the 60 percent Bellinger was at last week.

“He was moving,” Roberts said. “It was effortless. He wasn’t compensating.”

If Bellinger continues to heal at this rate, the Dodgers could send him out on a rehab assignment later this week, according to Roberts.

McKinstry, on the other hand, is even closer to potentially going out on a rehab assignment. His oblique is feeling better and he could join Triple-A Oklahoma City as early as Sunday or Monday.

The Dodgers have missed McKinstry, who was one of the pleasant surprises at the start of the season. He played multiple positions on defense and had a .883 OPS in 54 at-bats this season.

Around the Horn

• The Dodgers originally had Walker Buehler scheduled to start on Sunday against the Marlins, but the team has pushed the right-hander back to Monday against the D-backs. They’ll go with a bullpen game on Sunday instead.

• Alexander (shoulder) was set to pick up a baseball and play catch on Friday, but the left-hander still has inflammation in his shoulder and is still at least two or three weeks away from returning, according to Roberts.

• With Edwin Ríos out for the season, the Dodgers will need to fill the backup third baseman role. Max Muncy, who has experience playing the position, won’t be an option initially, as the team is happy with his high-quality defense at first base. Chris Taylor will get more opportunities at third base and will get a start there at some point next week.

• Price decided to auction his 2020 World Series ring in order to raise money for The Players Alliance. He explained why he made that decision:

“I wasn’t a part of winning that ring,” Price said. “I made my decision and personally, I didn’t think I deserved to get one. I talked to [president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman], a lot of other people in the organization about that, and they wanted me to still receive one. Talked to Lon Rosen about raising money for a good cause, and I thought Players Alliance was a good idea, something that would help a lot of upcoming baseball players.”