The Los Angeles Dodgers rotation has been a strength for the team to begin the 2023 season, but recent injuries and poor outings have put a strain on their bullpen and tested the starting depth.
Noah Syndergaard has only pitched five total innings across his last two starts due to a blister, Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw have combined for just seven innings in their most recent outings, and Dustin May only threw one inning before leaving Wednesday’s game with a flexor pronator strain.
The injury to May is the most significant factor in the rotation plans as he is expected to miss at least one month, if not longer. To replace him, the Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes that responsibility will go to Gavin Stone, he said on SportsNet LA:
“The meantime is Monday, and so looking at what we have internally, obviously, Gavin Stone is lined up. He just had a good one [Wednesday] night, so that just seems to make the most sense. But I won’t confirm that until I see him walk in the door.”
Stone made his MLB debut this season against a tough Philadelphia Phillies lineup and he threw four innings, giving up eight hits, five runs (four earned), two walks and adding one strikeout.
Stone has not performed particularly well with Triple-A Oklahoma City so far this year, posting a 4.04 ERA, 5.11 FIP and 1.26 WHIP across 35.2 innings. But his swing-and-miss stuff has remained, with 10.35 strikeouts per nine innings.
Despite his Minor League numbers this year, expectations remain high for Stone, the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and No. 46 overall in baseball. Stone also impressed in his last start for Oklahoma City, throwing 5.2 innings with season-high-tying 10 strikeouts while allowing just two earned runs.
The 24-year-old may be better off with an extended look at the Major League level, and although it’s still early in the season, it could be beneficial for the Dodgers to see what they have in Stone as Kershaw, Urías and Syndergaard are set to become free agents following the season.
Dodgers receive positive news on Dustin May
May underwent Tommy John surgery during the 2021 season, so his latest injury presented some concern it could be related, However, tests showed his repaired ulnar collateral ligament does not appear to be impacted and he will receive a PRP injection with the hopes of avoiding surgery.
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