The Los Angeles Dodgers received some devastating news on Monday in that Dustin May will undergo Tommy John surgery next week, ending his 2021 season and likely sidelining him for part of 2022 as well.
May felt a “shooting sensation through his arm” in his start against the Milwaukee Brewers last Friday and was removed after recording just five outs. An MRI later confirmed what had been expected in that he damaged the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in his right elbow.
With three off days coming up in the schedule, the Dodgers are considering using a four-man starting rotation for the time being. Tony Gonsolin will likely assume May’s spot, but he is still about three weeks from returning.
If necessary, the Dodgers are also considering the option of allowing Trevor Bauer to start on short rest every four days. “We’ve thought about it. There’s a scenario that it could happen,” Dave Roberts said.
“I think we do a good job of entertaining a lot of different things, and certainly Trevor is open to that. I think we do a good job of listening to the player if they have some type of track record or experience, which Trevor does.
“So yeah, we’re going to talk through it. Once we deal with this weather, what days we play or don’t play, we’ll have a little bit more clarity on that.”
Bauer, one of the more analytically-minded players in the league, believes starting every four days would be beneficial to him from a health and performance standpoint. “He’s just very in tune with his body, where his body is at on that fourth day,” Roberts noted.
“From his data, it’s optimum for him to do that. He hasn’t done it consistently. I think he’s only done it a few times, but from what I’ve heard from him, he’s fared well. So that’s kind of the driver. Trevor is an outside-of-the-box thinker.
“He’s competitive with the league, himself, his body, so that’s something he’s always kicked around.”
Bauer, who currently leads all National League pitchers with 40 innings this season, makes his next start against the Chicago Cubs in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Wrigley Field.
He conceivably could face the L.A. Angels on short rest this Saturday at Angel Stadium, but the Dodgers are leaning toward a bullpen game.
Bauer spoke with Dodgers about starting every 4 days
Even before throwing his first pitch with the Dodgers, Bauer floated the idea of regularly starting on four days’ rest. “We did have a (brief) conversation about it, and my point was I just want someone to be open to hearing what I have to say,” Bauer said during his introductory press conference.
“That’s really the extent to which we’ve talked about it. I imagine at Spring Training or some point in the future we’ll have a more in-depth conversation about it, which I look forward to.
“But again, me wanting to pitch every fourth day is not a selfish thing. I have a lot of reasons behind why I feel like I would be a better pitcher doing that, which would help the team and help other players in the organization as well.
“I don’t make those decisions, obviously, but I’ve spent a lot of time over the past three years thinking about it and thinking through all the different ramifications of it. That’s really going back to the partnership thing that I keep mentioning.
“Just having someone that’s willing to listen to that and have an honest conversation, whether the result is what I want or not. Just the open-mindedness to having that conversation is important to me.”
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