It’s early March, and the Dodgers are already going full Dodgers on us. As fantasy players, we know they will manipulate their pitching to limit our fantasy upside but maximize their playoff advantage. That’s fine; that’s baseball, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t stink. The difference is they usually disguise it better, and we just accept it, but this year Dave Roberts is already lining up the madness. 

The quote from Roberts came the same day as David Price threw one inning, his first inning in quite some time since he opted out of the 2020 season. It only took 11 pitches to retire the side in order, including one strikeout. The inning pitched was the 4th inning after Julio Urias threw three shutout innings. I know they just want to get Price work, but usually, starters start games, even in Spring Training.

Before the 2020 season, Price had thrown at least 176 innings in eight of the last ten seasons, including six seasons with over 200 innings pitched. Price was the spitting image of a workhorse. Injuries slowed him down a bit over the last three seasons, but he was still one of the best out there when he was on the mound. 2019 was his first year with an ERA over 4.00 since 2009. In 2019 he also had a career beer 27.9% K% and his second-best K-BB% of 21%. 

Even though Price was still effective, he chose safety over another year on the diamond in 2020. No judgement there. We’ve seen videos of Price training to stay ready, so this news of a possible role was surprising. Over the last couple of weeks, he was the 68th P off the board in NFBC online drafts with an ADP of 183 (high of 123). This number will indeed dip, and without a locked-in role, it will be tough to draft Price with any confidence outside of Bestball/Cutline leagues this season.

Now the question the next piece of this puzzle——who takes Price’s spot in the rotation? I wish this were an easy answer, but it is never easy with the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias should be locked into the rotation. That leaves one spot as a potential timeshare between Price, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May.

May brings an ADP of 221 to the table, while Gonsolin has an ADP of 251. This makes me laugh as Gonsolin is the better arm anyways. At this moment, I would avoid all 3, but if I had to draft one, it would be the cheapest one in Gonsolin. Last year Gonsolin had a 2.31 ERA with a 2.29 FIP & 3.80 xFIP with a solid 26.1% K% and 22.2% K-BB%. He has the best strikeout stuff between him and May and was just the better pitcher period last season. 

To sum this all up. I would love to draft Price if I knew he was starting every fifth day. That is now in limbo. This opens the door for May and Gonsolin, in which case give me Gonsolin. Regardless, it is a mess and if you do not want a headache, just avoid the situation altogether. Lastly, we did not even talk about the offense we know Roberts will go full Dodgers on as well.