David Price is in his second season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and is looking to win his first World Series title as a member of the Dodgers and his second overall title. Price has had a lot of success throughout his career and the 36-year-old is not ready to walk away from the game just yet.
The former Cy Young Award winner now finds himself in a full-time reliever role with the Dodgers. And for the most part, he has settled in well. Sometimes it’s not easy transitioning to a different role, but Price is a team player and he’s willing to do whatever to put the team in the best position to be successful.
If that means going to the bullpen, then that’s what he’s going to do. Last year he transitioned to the bullpen, but he did make 11 starts out of 39 appearances. In 26 appearances this season, he’s pitched in 26.1 innings and has a 3.08 ERA with a save.
Yes, this is the least amount of innings Price has pitched in his career, but he understands his role and is always ready to get out there when his name is called upon.
“I like these young guys getting their starts,” Price said in an article from The Orange County Register. “I like them being able to get their numbers up so they can go to arbitration, and they can get their money. I got mine.”
And Price did hint that this could be his last season, so going out on top would be a wonderful feeling for the veteran. But a big reason why he’s still playing is because of his kids.
“My (two) kids love it so much. That’s the only thing that makes me even think about playing any longer,” Price said. “I always told myself I’d ask my son, ’Do you want daddy to play baseball or do you want daddy to be home all the time?’ I asked him before this year and he said, ‘I want you to be home.’ I said, ’Are you sure?’ He said, ’Yeah.’ Now when I ask him, he says, ’No, I want you to keep playing.”
For those who have followed Price’s career, know how dominant he was in the league for multiple years. He’s 78th on the all-time strikeout list with 2,068. To be in the top 100 of the list is an accomplishment of itself. Price is in his 14th season and has dealt with numerous injuries the past few seasons and it’s apparent that he isn’t who he was back in 2010 and 2012, but the brother can still go out there and get the job done.
If this is in fact his last season, how great would it be for him to go out as a World Series champion. This is one MLBbro who definitely deserves his flowers. He’s shown why he’s one of the best to ever do it.
Melanated Mound Marauder David Price is filling the gaps for the LA Dodgers pitching staff. Leadership, experience and talent. MLBbro reporter Dante Miles checks in with the last Black pitcher to win 20 games (2012).
The Tampa Bay Rays drafted right-hand pitcher Taj Bradley in the fifth-round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of well-known Redan High School in Stone Mountain, GA.
The belief was at some point in the near future he could be a top-end starter or maybe even the ace of the Rays staff.
But it was going to require some patience with the rangy 17-year-old, who spent his first two years in Rookie ball. In 2021 after some Rays brass began to question the pick Bradley, soared and proved he was worthy of the hype that preceded him.
Taj Bradley is the ace of the Minors.
The Rays prospect wins the Top Starting Pitcher MiLBY!
Bradley Struggled Early: Position Change Played A Role
Bradley was more interested in playing the outfield until his senior year in high school. But he’d shown enough in spot duty on the mound that had MLB clamoring. However, Bradley’s first appearance in the minors wasn’t impressive. In fact, his first minor league field coordinator Michael Johns had this to say.
“I remember when Taj showed up on campus he was 17 years old, and I think he was throwing 86, 87, 88 (MPH). We’re all kinda scratching our heads like, Ooookaaaay.”
That wasn’t enough for the Rays to turn away from, as they stuck with the talented but very raw Bradley. Just like most prospects, especially those who come straight from the high school game, they need time.
Bradley took baby steps in 2018 and 2019, but flourished in 2021, dominating at both Class A Charleston (S.C.) and Bowling Green (KY). In those two spots Bradley went a combined 12-3 while boasting a 1.83 ERA (best in the minors). He struck out 123 batters and walked only 31 in just over 103 innings of work.
That development catapulted Bradley into the Top 100 of three prospect ranking sites, The Athletic, Baseball America and ESPN. They even mentioned he had what it takes to become one of the Rays “great ones.”
Taj Bradley takes the phrase "student of the game" to another level.
Bradley Used 2020 Pandemic Season To Make Changes: Lost 20 Pounds While Maturing Mentally As Well
Prior to the 2020 season, Bradley ate pizza as often as he could and just didn’t have good nutritional habits. He had an epiphany during the canceled 2020 pandemic season. That’s when he put the work in and started getting into better shape
Johns had this to say about Bradley’s transformation ….
“All of a sudden, his body just forms and he gets bigger and stronger. He’s just a man on the mound. He just keeps getting better. It’s crazy.
“Some guys hit a plateau and you’re like, how do we get over that hump? And it’s, like, every week, every month, every year, he just keeps getting better and better. And not just with the (velocity), but with the pitch ability and secondary stuff, and his coachability. Just a tremendous, tremendous kid.”
“Taj Bradley is a stud.”
On top of losing 20 pounds Bradley mentions how he increased the velocity on his fastball and added to his pitching bag.
The Rays' Taj Bradley became a whole new pitcher last year.
All of those things are exactly why he’s rated No.70 on MLB Pipeline and is the Rays’ third-highest ranked prospect. With his improved conditioning, delivery and continually growing maturity, Bradley is expected to join the Rays in 2023. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of David Price, “Big Game” James Shields, Blake Snell, and Chris Archer as great Rays hurlers.