Dustin May is set to make his long-awaited season debut on Saturday when the Los Angeles Dodgers activate him off the 60-day injured list to face the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium.
Although May only made five starts last season, he looked like one of their best pitchers, sporting a 2.74 ERA, 3.30 FIP and 0.96 WHIP to go along with 35 strikeouts and six walks over 23 innings. His return should boost an already talented rotation and comes just after the news that Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery.
It’s hard to imagine May being much more effective than he was last season, especially as he returns from Tommy John surgery, and the Dodgers aren’t in need of someone to step in and lead the rotation.
However, May continued working to improve during his rehab by adding a new changeup to his repertoire, via SportsNet LA:
“I worked on a changeup, so that’s kind of the only thing that’s added. Everything else is the same.”
During his five starts last year, the right-hander relied on four pitches, led by his sinker which he threw nearly 40% of the time. May complimented that with a curveball (22.8%), four-seam fastball (19%) and cutter (18.5%). May did occasionally throw a changeup in 2019-20, but it was only for a total of 50 times throughout the two years before he dropped it.
With his return to the rotation imminent, the 24-year-old is excited and feels very well prepared to help the Dodgers continue winning.
Dodgers going to six-man rotation with Dustin May
The Dodgers have relied on rookie Ryan Pepiot to fill in as their fifth starter, and he appeared the logical choice to be replaced in the rotation by May.
However, manager Dave Roberts said the Dodgers are going to use a six-man starting rotation for the time being.
The Dodgers are currently playing 26 games over 27 days, so going with a six-man rotation helps take some of the pressure off their pitching staff down the stretch. Roberts has also indicated the club would like to be cautious with Tony Gonsolin, who has already set his career high in innings pitched.
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