The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t acquire a starting pitcher prior to the MLB trade deadline, but they are on the verge of adding a big piece to their rotation in the form of Dustin May.
May suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) that required Tommy John surgery last season after just five starts, but he has since made multiple outings while on rehab assignment as he moves closer to a return to the Dodgers rotation.
May made his fourth rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday and pitched five innings while giving up just three hits and one run, which came on a home run. He also struck out eight and only walked one, but most importantly, all the reports on him “were good,” according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
“Dustin threw the ball well, it was five innings,” Roberts added. “He’ll make a (rehab) start on Sunday, and at that point in time, I expect him to join us. If he makes a start on Sunday, the plan would be either Friday or Saturday he’ll be with us.”
May has now thrown 16 innings across his five rehab starts, with one of them coming with the Arizona Complex League Dodgers and the other four at the Triple-A level. Across those outings, he has posted a 1.69 ERA while striking out 26 hitters with a .164 average against.
The right-hander was emerging as a key for the Dodgers last season before the injury, posting a 2.74 ERA, 3.30 FIP and 0.96 WHIP with 35 strikeouts against six walks in 23 innings pitched (five starts).
It’s likely May will replace Ryan Pepiot in the rotation, who is currently filling in for Clayton Kershaw as he is on the 15-day injured list due to lower back discomfort.
The Dodgers have also been without Walker Buehler as he deals with a right flexor tendon strain and subsequently undergoing elbow surgery to remove bone spurs.
Julio Urías emerging as leader of Dodgers pitching staff
Without Kershaw and Buehler in the rotation, Roberts believes Urías is emerging as one of the leaders of the Dodgers staff for the way he handles himself on the mound.
“I just tell that by every start the last two months, it’s been very consistent,” Roberts said.
“There’s been a lot of conviction. And not to say that pitchers don’t want to pitch well every start, but he has not given himself any chance for any letdown. The velocity is up, he’s going from pitch one to pitch 100 with the same intensity.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!