The #Dodgers will replace reliever Joe Kelly (biceps strain) on the roster before Game 6
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 22, 2021
Before leaving the contest, he allowed a two-run homer to Atlanta Braves’ slugger Freddie Freeman, the only two runs the Dodgers conceded on Thursday.
Kelly, who has a $12 million club option for 2022 with a $4 million buyout, has likely thrown his last pitch as a Dodger.
The team is losing a top relief option, with proven postseason success.
Kelly had a 2.86 ERA in the regular season and a 0.98 WHIP, with good strikeout rates.
He had surrendered three runs in 5.1 postseason frames in 2021.
Taking his place on the National League Championship Series roster is left-hander David Price.
David Price will replace Joe Kelly on the NLCS roster.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) October 22, 2021
A Former Cy Young And World Series Winner At The Dodgers’ Service
Price, a former American League Cy Young award winner, came over from the Boston Red Sox with Mookie Betts a couple of seasons ago.
The 2021 playoffs will be the first ones he takes part in with a Dodgers uniform, as he opted out of last year’s campaign citing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the regular season, Price wasn’t used as a traditional starter.
He took part in 39 games, 11 of which he took the ball from the go.
He covered 73.2 innings and had a 4.03 ERA, with a slightly worse 1.43 WHIP.
At 36 years old, it’s safe to say Price isn’t what he used to be, which was one of the top lefties in the game.
However, that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to the Dodgers.
Price doesn’t quite have Kelly’s strikeout upside at this point of his career, but he can still help Los Angeles get some outs.
Naturally, Price will automatically be one of the last options in Los Angeles’ bullpen; otherwise he would have been selected for the NLCS roster in the first place.
But if the Dodgers face a lefty-heavy inning, they could throw Price out there, as he is expected to be available as soon as Saturday.
Price has amassed a pretty good career, with a 3.33 ERA and 155 wins so far.
He also has a Cy Young award in 2012 and a World Series ring with Boston in 2018.
Motivation To Succeed
He will have plenty of motivation to perform well and get himself a shot at another ring.
If he has a good showing over the weekend and the Dodgers end up completing the miracle and advancing to the World Series, there is a chance he is part of the roster for the Fall Classic.
For now, the seasoned veteran will likely have a low-leverage role this weekend.
However, we have seen low-leverage pitchers succeed in long games, or in specific spots.
The Dodgers are banking on Price’s experience and guile to succeed.
The team has had to endure lots of losses when it comes to pitchers, but are still alive.
They may not be favored at this point, but leaving Los Angeles for dead is not a particularly good idea, especially when they pulled off a similar feat (overcoming a 3-1 deficit) last year.
The Dodgers are still confident, and Price will try to help their case.