The Dodgers are still deciding among fifth starter options, manager Dave Roberts informed Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times and other reporters Friday. Southpaw David Price is competing against righties Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, who impressed as rookies during the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series-winning campaign. As a five-time All-Star and a former AL Cy Young winner, Price certainly carries the best track record of the three – not to mention the highest salary – but he didn’t pitch at all last season after opting out over COVID-19 concerns. Any of those three would join Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías in what will be a loaded season-opening starting five.
The latest on a few more pitchers around the game:
- Reds righty Sonny Gray, who has been dealing with a back problem for a couple of weeks, came out of a sim game unscathed Friday, per Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. After throwing two innings and 30 pitches, Gray said, “I felt good. It was definitely a step in the right direction.” Gray will start the season on the injured list, but he doesn’t expect to miss much time. That’s uplifting news for a Reds starting staff that lost the aforementioned Bauer during the offseason.
- Eduardo Rodríguez was recently set back by a dead arm but seemed to make some progress this morning. The Red Sox left-hander came out of a bullpen session feeling good about his chances of soon returning to game action, although a season-opening injured list stint remains a possibility (via Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe). Manager Alex Cora says the club will evaluate how Rodríguez feels tomorrow before making any decisions about his recovery timeline.
- The Yankees have optioned right-hander Deivi García to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, according to a team announcement. The move suggests Domingo Germán will enter the season as the No. 5 in the Yankees’ rotation behind Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery, though odds are that García will make his share of starts this season. The 21-year-old, a former top 100 prospect, made his debut last season with a 4.98 ERA/4.21 SIERA with a 22.6 percent strikeout rate against a stingy 4.1 percent walk rate in 34 1/3 innings.
- Athletics righty Mike Fiers will begin the season on the injured list, manager Bob Melvin announced to Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle and other reporters. Fiers has been dealing with left hip inflammation since midway through the month and hasn’t faced live hitters during his recovery. His injury could open the door for any of Daulton Jefferies, Cole Irvin or A.J. Puk to at least temporarily join the A’s rotation. Fiers tied for the A’s lead in starts (11) and finished second in innings (59) last season, but he struggled to a 4.58 ERA/5.41 SIERA and managed a personal-worst 14.4 percent K rate.