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Spring predictions for Price, Jansen, Lux

@kengurnick
February 15, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Manager Dave Roberts opened training camp Thursday emphasizing the here and now, not what has been. The here and now, he said, is pretty exciting. The offseason ended with the blockbuster acquisitions of Mookie Betts and David Price, setting expectations even higher for a club that won

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Manager Dave Roberts opened training camp Thursday emphasizing the here and now, not what has been.

The here and now, he said, is pretty exciting. The offseason ended with the blockbuster acquisitions of Mookie Betts and David Price, setting expectations even higher for a club that won 106 games last season.

With that backdrop, we shine up the crystal ball and make these predictions for the spring:

David Price is healthy

While Betts has taken the spotlight in this week’s blockbuster trade, Price looms as at least as important to the Dodgers’ success with the departures of starting pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill. He’s told the Dodgers he’s healthy after last year’s surgery to remove a painful cyst from his left wrist. The Dodgers wouldn’t mind if he wins his second Comeback Player of the Year Award in a three-year span.

Kenley Jansen is nasty again

By all accounts, Kenley Jansen has been hard at work since almost the final out of the first-round elimination, determined to recapture his All-Star form and give the Dodgers a reliable closer once again. Jansen took that mission to the folks at Driveline to tweak his mechanics and get that cutter cutting.

Gavin Lux is for real

Gavin Lux is the one player other teams wanted over the winter, and the one player the Dodgers wouldn’t trade. There is nothing that screams “prospect to watch” like being untouchable. Enrique Hernández and Chris Taylor are in the mix, but Lux looks like the second baseman of the future, and the future is now. Current management has a pretty good record sizing up the readiness of its young players, from Rookies of the Year Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, to Walker Buehler, Will Smith and Dustin May.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.