There's been a bounty of storylines surrounding the spring training home of the World Series Champions. The Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to begin their title defense this season and have plenty of players to help them on their quest to repeat.
Some of those players were with the team in 2020, some, were not. One of those players that opted out of the 60-game season was Dodgers' pitcher David Price.
After spring training suddenly shut down in early March of 2020, Price returned home to be with his wife and two young children.
Local news from across Southern California
When baseball resumed in early July, Price was noticeably absent from the Dodgers first day of summer camp. A day later, Price announced that he was opting out of the 2020 season.
Price kept in constant contact with his teammates and coaches during the 60-game campaign, texting guys to pump them up before a start, or pointing out things that he saw on television.
"Watching it on television, you see some stuff that you might not see if you're in the dugout," said Price. "That's the most baseball I've ever watched on TV. I was in constant contact with these guys. I had baseball on the TV all day long."
Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still rampant throughout the country, Price says he's back for the 2021 season, and the former Cy Young Award winner is here to stay.
"Our team and MLB handled it pretty well," said Price about the COVID-19 protocols in 2020 and why he feels comfortable playing in 2021. "We had a lot of protocols that we had to go through and our team bended over backwards to make sure guys stayed COVID free. They have a lot more information on it now, and all of that played into my decision to play this year."
If and when Price does take the mound again for the Dodgers this season, it will be the first time he's pitched since September 1, 2019. So how will the extra rest and lack of wear and tear on his arm equate to performance for the upcoming season?
Price believes it will benefit him tremendously.
"I think at this point in my career it could be a good thing." he said. "To let my arm and body reset. To let my body heal."
Price said he feels ahead of schedule for spring training this year than in previous years and thinks the long layover between pitching will help keep his arm "fresh" for the 162-game season. Now, he just has to knock the rust off this spring.