The Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten multiple looks at Mookie Betts over their first weekend-plus of 2020 Spring Training games, but that has yet to apply to David Price, the club’s other half of their return in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had previously indicated the team would take a slow approach with the veteran left-hander, and when he starts in a Cactus League game remains undecided. That also applies to Julio Urias, who has been deemed the Dodgers’ fourth starter in their Opening Day rotation.
“I think they are more in another live (batting practice) situation,” Roberts said before Tuesday’s game at Salt River Fields. “I don’t think either one of those guys is going to start this weekend. I’m not sure.”
At present time Dodgers’ probables for the week are Josiah Gray (Wednesday), Tony Gonsolin (Thursday), Clayton Kershaw (Friday) and Walker Buehler (Saturday). It will mark a 2020 debut for Gray, Kershaw and Buehler, respectively.
Which game Buehler starts — either at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, or on the road against the Colorado Rockies — has not yet been determined.
Although Price and Urias are earmarked for spots in the rotation, both face some uncertainty. Price has managed to throw without issue thus far in camp and previously assured he’s in good health after undergoing surgery last September to remove a cyst from his left wrist.
As for Urias, he has reverted back to using some form of a windup in effort to establish more of a consistent rhythm. While the Dodgers have removed the innings limit on the young lefty, Roberts emphasized the club is looking for improved command and a step forward in development.
One absolute positive for both southpaws is Roberts assured their delay in pitching in a Spring Training game is part of the Dodgers’ plans and not in response to any health-related issue or setback.
Opening Day starter remains mystery
Roberts twice in the past two days has been questioned about the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter, and in each instance remained steadfast in his refusal to make their decision public. He coyly stated the Dodgers would hand the ball to one of two pitchers — presumed, of course, to be Kershaw or Buehler.
That Kershaw is making his Cactus League debut before Buehler could be interpreted as a sign, but Roberts was quick to dismiss it. “You can read whatever you want into that order,” he said. “Obviously, we’re looking at off days and things can happen, but you can make what you want with it.”
Kershaw had his franchise-record streak of consecutive Opening Day starts snapped at eight last year when he began the 2019 season on the injured list due to a shoulder issue. Kershaw is said to be in improved all around health this spring.
Joc Pederson still on the mend
Joc Pederson has been limited over the past several days due to what Roberts has only described as a “side” issue. Pederson participated in some of Tuesday’s workout at Camelback Ranch.
“He stood in on Clayton’s ‘pen, he did some bunting but didn’t swing a bat,” Roberts said. “I don’t think we’re really worried about getting him ready for the start of the season. We’re more mindful of is not having a setback.
“The calendar is our friend, so we’re not worried about getting him at-bats and ready for Opening Day.”
When asked if Pederson’s injury was to his oblique, Roberts answered, “I haven’t heard that word. That’s the word you don’t want to hear, and I haven’t heard it. That’s a dirty word.
“I heard ‘side’ or ‘abdomen,’ maybe.”
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