Dustin May became another casualty of the injury bug that the Dodgers are currently dealing with. After throwing 19 pitches, Dylan Covey replaced Dustin May during the Matinee rubber match against the Twins. The Dodgers must protect their first-place lead with a depleted pitching staff.
Since returning from Tommy John surgery, Dustin May has become a reliable number three starter in the rotation. Coming into Wednesday’s start, May has a 4-1 record with a 2.63 ERA and opposing batters hitting .173 against him. His fastball averaged 97 MPH, a 17% strikeout rate, and an 8% walk rate.
The Dodgers announced Dustin May’s early exit was due to pain on his right elbow. May felt pain in his throwing arm, which underwent reconstruction.
After the game, Dave Roberts announced May would be placed on the IL:
“We got some early test, and it’s a flexor pronator strain,” Robert explains. “When he returns to play, I don’t know that answer.”
The situation appears bleak.
Dustin May will be joining Michael Grove, Ryan Pepiot, and Walker Buehler on the injured list.
The Team’s Options
May’s injury is coming in the middle of a 13-game run without a break. His next start would be on Monday, May 22nd, against the Atlanta Braves. Hopefully, the Dodgers receive good news, and he does not have to miss significant time. In order for the Dodgers to build on their lead in the West, the team will need May to contribute as he has thus far in the season.
The Dodgers’ starting pitching depth is being questioned at a time when the team needs everyone to contribute. If May lands on the injured list, the next prospect in line is Bobby Miller.
Bobby Miller’s season got off to a late start as he reported to spring training with a sore right shoulder. He made his first start of the season on April 29th. Miller pitched 3.1 innings and gave up one run on one hit. Since returning, Miller has not pitched more than 4 innings in a game.
During his second start, Miller gave up three runs on five hits, resulting in an inflated ERA of 7.20 in 1.2 innings pitched. If the Dodgers decide to utilize another one of their top prospects, Miller may have to serve as an opener and rely on the bullpen for support.
While it would be exciting to see Miller take the next step in his developmental process, he is currently not built up to sustain a start for the big league team. The Dodgers faithful will undoubtedly see him with the major league team by the end of the year unless he’s involved in a trade with the Angles.
The options after Bobby Miller are limited. The Dodgers placed Michael Grove on the 15-day IL on April 21st with a right groin strain and moved Ryan Pepiot to the 60-day IL on the same day. As for Walker Buehler, the target date for his return is the first of September.
There is no doubt that the Dodgers will trade for a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. In the meantime, give Bobby Miller the ball and build him up in the majors before the Dodgers lose their first-place lead.