Dodgers News: Dustin May Gaining Confidence By Being Regular In Starting Rotation
Dustin May
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t acquire a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, they put a lot of trust in their young crop of starters.

Perhaps the best of the bunch is Dustin May, who is one of the leading candidates for National League Rookie of the Year.

May originally was not expected to begin the season in the rotation, but he got the last-minute nod on Opening Day when Clayton Kershaw went down with a back injury and has not relinquished his spot since.

The 22-year-old made his latest start on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies and turned in another solid outing in a 10-6 victory. He gave up a pair of solo home runs but those were the only two runs he gave up in 5.2 innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and a walk.

In eight starts this season, May has pitched to a 2.88 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 28 strikeouts and 10 walks in 40.2 innings.

This has been May’s first opportunity as a full-time starter in the big leagues and to this point, he has made the most of it. “It gives you a huge confidence boost knowing that they trust you and believe in you to go out there every fifth day and get the job done,” May said.

“That’s something that I’ve worked for for a long time, to be able to do it at the big league level. Just given the trust and confidence behind myself with the staff, Roberts, Prior and everybody to go out there every fifth day is pretty awesome.”

As it currently stands, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are the only two locks for the Dodgers’ postseason rotation. That leaves two open sports for May, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin.

If May continues to pitch the way he has in 2020, then it is hard to imagine one of those spots not going to him. Though, that’s also not a concern he holds at present time.

“For me, it’s out of my hands. I’m just going to go out and do what I do every single outing and hope for the best,” May said.

May working to develop breaking ball

The next step for May in his development is adding a consistent third pitch to go along with his fastball and cutter. He used his breaking ball more often on Friday night, which he made a concerted effort to do.

“That was the biggest step forward that I’ve taken with my breaking ball in a long time,” he said. “Honestly, that’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve had on the mound being able to land the breaking ball. It’s never really been there, so tonight was a huge step forward with that. I was very pleased.

“We call it a slurve. It really just depends on the way it comes out of my hand. It could be more slurvey or slidery.”

There is a reason May was the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect for the last couple of years, and he is showing why in 2020.

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