The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2021 season with a plethora of pitching depth and a rotation that figured to prominently feature Dustin May. The right-hander was named the club’s fifth starter after a solid showing in Spring Training and looked poised for a breakout year.
May proved to be a key contributor early on, but that came to a halt after he was removed from a start against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 1. He gestured to the dugout after throwing a 94 mph fastball that was well out of the zone and below his average velocity.
An MRI revealed that May sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery shortly after.
While the operation put his 2022 season in jeopardy, May recently resumed throwing and revealed his recovery from the injury has gone smoothly, via the Dodgers’ official YouTube channel:
“Going into the moment of getting hurt, it was kind of like I don’t know how to react because I’ve never been in that situation before. It never really sunk in until I was almost going into surgery. It was like, ‘Wow, I’m going to be out for a significant amount of time and have to pretty much re-learn how to throw in six months.’ But it’s been great so far.”
Considering a normal timeline for recovery from Tommy John surgery and the Dodgers’ history of erring on the side of caution, May is not expected to return until after the 2022 All-Star Game.
May went 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA, 3.30 FIP and 0.96 WHIP in 23 innings pitched across five starts this year. He improved in several areas, including increasing his strikeouts per nine innings from 7.1 to 13.1, and lowering his hits per nine from 7.2 to 6.3.
Waiting game with May
With the Dodgers losing Max Scherzer in free agency and Clayton Kershaw still on the open market, May’s expected return during the second half of the 2022 season will be a welcome sight.
While the Dodgers were considered favorites to re-sign Scherzer at various points this offseason, the New York Mets’ willingness to offer him a third guaranteed year reportedly was the difference-maker.
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