The Los Angeles Dodgers lost another piece of their starting rotation on Saturday when they placed Dustin May on the 15-day injured list due to lower back tightness.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the injury is an issue with May’s back or oblique on the left side of his body. Because isn’t with the arm or shoulder, they remain hopeful he can return for the postseason.
“It’s something where we just felt that he’s going to be able to play catch again the next couple of days, but then you’re talking about the build-up and time missed,” Roberts said. “So if you’re looking at the buildup to get him back, IL made sense.
“And so he should be back the week after the season and kind of throwing and pitching again. So we’re expecting him to be back for the DS, but that’s just the right thing to do right now.”
The Dodgers first learned about the injury after May’s start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 21. Roberts said there were no signs of the injury while May threw a bullpen in San Francisco or prior to his outing.
May did not undergo any testing to determine if there is anything more with the injury. “There were no scans, but it was more the doctors and the trainers putting hands on him and kind of coming up with a diagnosis,” Roberts said.
This marks May’s second time on the IL this season after beginning the year recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was activated off the 60-day IL on Aug. 20 and made six starts while going four innings and giving up five runs in his last outing.
The earliest the Dodgers can backdate his IL stint is Sept. 22, which means May is not eligible to return until Thursday, Oct. 6, one day after their final game of the regular season.
While the Dodgers hope he can return for the National League Division Series, May will not be available to pitch deep into games as a starter and his role is contingent on how long he’s going to be out. “But if he’s healthy, then it’s still a weapon,” Roberts said.
With just more than two weeks before their first postseason game, Roberts said the timing of the injury is “not ideal” and throws a bit of a wrench into their pitching plans.
“Not what we were planning on,” Roberts added. “I thought we manage him well, and obviously, with Dustin coming off Tommy John, the arm was the thing that we were very mindful of. So to have this setback, it’s where we’re at, we got to kind of deal with it and move on.”
Austin Barnes: Dodgers ‘feel good’ about pitching staff
The Dodgers have dealt with injuries to their rotation all season and along with May, they currently have All-Star starters Tony Gonsolin and Walker Buehler on the IL. But no matter who is pitching for them come October, Austin Barnes says the team is confident in their staff.
“No, I think we feel good,” Barnes said. “You know, injuries happen, you can’t really control that. I think we’ve always done a pretty good job of just competing with who we have out there.
“Obviously want everybody healthy and everything like that, we believe in everybody though. And every time someone takes that rubber, I think we have a shot to win.
“So it’s unfortunate he got injured. I love Dustin, he’s a great pitcher, and he’ll be back ready.”
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