Price keeping arm ready during delay

March 25th, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- New Dodgers starter , interviewed by David Vassegh on AM 570 Sports’ DodgersTalk on Tuesday night, said he is still in Arizona, and still playing catch while keeping a distance.

He said he’s keeping his arm moving by playing catch and doing arm exercises so he’ll be ready to ramp up when baseball gets the green light, but expects another “training camp” to be a necessity.

“You can throw as many bullpens as you want or play catch, but unless you’re out there facing hitters, it’s tough to get to that intensity,” he said.

Price said he realized the severity of the coronavirus pandemic when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive and triggered the NBA's decision to suspend the season.

“I was supposed to pitch the day before they canceled and it was supposed to rain as well,” said Price. “Seeing how the NBA unfolded the night before, they canceled whatever games there were. They had the late-night game they were going to play, which I thought was a little weird, then they canceled the late-night game, and when they did that I figured it had a chance to leak into baseball and all other sports."

Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, came to the Dodgers from Boston in the February trade that also included Mookie Betts. He’s penciled into the No. 3 spot in the Dodgers rotation behind Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler and ahead of Julio Urías and Alex Wood.

Price made two Cactus League starts for the Dodgers, a shaky debut against the Reds followed by an overpowering three innings with seven strikeouts against Colorado. After the debut, he admitted he was nervous.

“In my first start against Cincinnati, I had runners on second base and I don’t think I looked at second base one time, even though I told myself to check the runner,” he said. “I just didn’t do it. Everything was speeding up and I was getting back into the flow of the game. It takes time.”

Price, 34, is optimistic about a return to form after successful surgery in September to remove a cyst from his left wrist that has allowed him to regain feeling in the joint.