Dustin May is set to make his long-awaited season debut on Saturday when the Los Angeles Dodgers face the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium.
May’s return from Tommy John surgery comes at an ideal time with Clayton Kershaw still on the 15-day injured list due to lower back pain and Walker Buehler undergoing season-ending elbow surgery next week.
The Dodgers have relied on rookie Ryan Pepiot to fill in as their fifth starter, so he would’ve been the logical choice to be replaced by May in the rotation.
However, manager Dave Roberts said the Dodgers are going to use a six-man starting rotation for the time being, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Dave Roberts said Ryan Pepiot will stay in #Dodgers rotation after Dustin May returns. They will go with 6-man rotation for time being
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 17, 2022
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.
Additionally, Andrew Heaney is still scheduled to start on Thursday despite a left arm contusion from a 106.5 mph line-drive comebacker that hit his left arm/shoulder area during a start last week.
What Dustin May brings to Dodgers rotation
Along with Heaney, Gonsolin and Pepiot, May joins a Dodgers rotation that also includes current staff ace Julio Urías and the breakout All-Star Tyler Anderson. This gives the Dodgers plenty of options for their four-man postseason rotation as long as no one else suffers an injury before then.
May made just five starts last season, but he looked like one of their best hurlers, pitching to a 2.74 ERA, 3.30 FIP and 0.96 WHIP to go along with 35 strikeouts and six walks over 23 innings.
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