Notes: Price, Pollock ill; opening rotation set

March 29th, 2021

was scheduled to start for the Dodgers in Sunday night's Freeway Series opener against the Angels, but the left-hander was scratched after texting manager Dave Roberts that he felt a bit under the weather.

Price drove to Los Angeles from Arizona on Saturday, but woke up feeling ill on Sunday, according to Roberts. The Dodgers hope Price feels better on Monday in order to pitch in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium. The left-hander is competing against Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin for the last spot in the rotation, one of three big remaining roster decisions the club must make ahead of Opening Day.

Price wasn’t the only player scratched from Sunday's game late due to an illness. Outfielder AJ Pollock was scheduled to play left field in the Dodgers’ original lineup, but he told the team he was feeling a bit sick. Roberts said Pollock let the team know that he could play, but the team opted against it, preferring instead to ensure the outfielder was ready for the season. DJ Peters started in Pollock's absence.

The Dodgers are hoping to have Pollock in the lineup on Monday. If he is, the outfielder will get four at-bats, according to Roberts. Pollock is scheduled to get the majority of the playing time at left field this season, with Chris Taylor and Matt Beaty also getting starts in the outfield.

Gonsolin's outing
With Price scratched, Tony Gonsolin, who was scheduled to pitch Sunday in relief, got the start against the Angels.

In his second start this spring, Gonsolin allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings of work. Gonsolin struck out six, but walked three. He threw 86 pitches, 52 of them strikes.

The Dodgers are hoping to make a decision regarding the last spot in the rotation over the next few days, but Gonsolin said he’s just ready for the start of the season no matter what happens.

“I’m just looking forward to the season,” Gonsolin said. “Whatever my role is, I look forward to getting comfortable with that and do the best I can.”

The rest of the Freeway Series
Julio Urías will get the start for the Dodgers on Monday against the Angels. The Angels are countering with two-way star Shohei Ohtani. Walker Buehler is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium, his last tuneup before the regular season.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers wrap up the spring and it’ll be May on the mound against the Angels. Though it lines up that way, May getting the start on Tuesday doesn’t mean that he's locked up the last spot in the rotation. May, however, has certainly made his case this spring, recording 13 strikeouts over his last two starts and giving the Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. more than he could handle with a 100 mph fastball.

Reliever Corey Knebel, who suffered what Roberts called a “love-handle contusion” after being hit by a liner in his last outing on Friday, is still expected to get some work in before the start of the regular season.

Other notes
The pitching matchups are set for the four-game season-opening series against the Rockies at Coors Field. It’ll be Clayton Kershaw vs. Germán Márquez on Thursday's Opening Day, followed by Trevor Bauer vs. Antonio Senzatela on Friday, Buehler vs. Jon Gray on Saturday and Urías vs. Austin Gomber in Sunday's finale.

The Dodgers hit four home runs on Sunday, three coming in lefty vs. lefty matchups. Gavin Lux, Corey Seager and Max Muncy each hit a homer off Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney. Muncy would hit his second homer of the game in the fifth inning, a solo blast off right-hander Griffin Canning.