12:34PM: Price has been officially placed on the 15-day IL and Pepiot was officially recalled.
7:51AM: The Dodgers will place left-hander David Price on the 15-day injured list today, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times) following last night’s game. Right-hander Ryan Pepiot will be called up from Triple-A to take Price’s spot on the active roster, and Pepiot is scheduled to work as the bulk pitcher today behind opener Caleb Ferguson.
Price is dealing with inflammation in his left wrist, and received an MRI to fully explore an injury that Roberts said has been nagging Price for the entire season. The injury isn’t considered overly serious, and Price is expected back before the regular season is over. Since Price hasn’t pitched since August 29, his IL placement will be backdated a few days and he could be back by mid-September if he is able to return from the IL when first eligible.
Price has hinted that this could be his final season, and while the lefty is no longer an ace or even a starting pitcher, Price is still effective at age 37. Over 38 1/3 innings out of the Los Angeles bullpen, Price has a 2.58 ERA, 23.3% strikeout rate, and 5.0% walk rate. He has been particularly effective in the second half of the season, with a 1.13 ERA over 16 frames since the All-Star break.
While Price doesn’t usually pitch in high-leverage situations, ending his career as a relief pitcher would provide a nice bookend to his first MLB season, when the Rays used Price as a key late-game weapon in 2008 and Price helped Tampa Bay reach the World Series. The Dodgers are deep in pitching options, but presumably Price (if healthy) has done enough to merit inclusion on the team’s postseason roster, and to potentially cap off his career with another championship.
Once the Price move is official, the Dodgers will have 10 pitchers on the injured list, with some already known to be out for the season and others battling more minor injuries. Since L.A. enjoys an 18-game lead in the NL West, the team has some flexibility in giving players time off to address nagging injuries and get fully healed for the postseason.
In other Dodgers injury news, Brusdar Graterol is hoping to play catch today or tomorrow as he recovers from right elbow inflammation. Graterol told Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group and other reporters that his injury is indeed just inflammation, as revealed by a recent MRI. Graterol was retroactively placed on the 15-day injured list on August 31, just over a week after he returned from missing nearly six weeks on another IL stint due to shoulder inflammation.
Plunkett also reported that Tony Gonsolin was doing some throwing in the outfield yesterday, which is a good sign given the concerning nature of the forearm strain that sent Gonsolin to the 15-day IL earlier this week. The Dodgers were hopeful at the time that Gonsolin’s strain was relatively minor, and that his IL trip was mostly preventative. Roberts said a few days ago that Gonsolin received good results on an MRI, and Gonsolin already throwing is a step towards the All-Star right-hander possibly being able to return in relatively short order.
Moving onto position players, Roberts told Plunkett and company that Gavin Lux will miss a few games after receiving a cortisone shot. Lux has missed time over the last two weeks dealing with neck and upper-back soreness, and the hope is that the cortisone shot will help enough that Lux can avoid the injured list.
Lux has been the Dodgers’ primary second baseman this season, also getting a good chunk of time in left field and some fill-in work at shortstop. The former top prospect has somewhat quietly had a breakout at the plate, hitting .293/.368/.428 with six homers and a league-best seven triples over 418 plate appearances, translating to a 127 wRC+ that is well above the league average. Max Muncy’s resurgence over the last few weeks gives the Dodgers some cover at second base with Lux at less than 100 percent, but Los Angeles could definitely use Lux healthy for the postseason.