Dodgers starter Dustin May departed Wednesday’s game after just one inning. Several reporters, including Mike Petriello of MLB.com, noticed that May’s velocity was down from his typical range. The club later announced that the righty departed due to elbow pain.
At this point, it’s still unknown exactly what is bothering May or how severe it is. However, an issue with a pitcher’s throwing elbow is always a cause for some concern, and the diminished velocity and quick hook just add to the sense of alarm.
May, 25, has shown the potential to be an excellent pitcher in the big leagues but has been prevented from taking on a significant workload by the pandemic and Tommy John surgery.
He debuted in August of 2019, tossing 34 2/3 innings that year with a 3.42 ERA. He followed that up by tossing 56 innings in the shortened 2020 season with a tiny 2.57 ERA.
He then made just five starts in 2021 before having to undergo Tommy John, returning to make six more starts late last year. He had a 2.68 ERA through his first eight starts this year, with Wednesday’s truncated outing his ninth time taking the ball.
Amid those interruptions, the 56 innings he threw in 2020 are still a career high. He has an excellent 3.12 ERA dating back to 2019 but in only 190 2/3 total frames over that stretch.
He and the club will no doubt do some further testing in the days to come to figure out what’s ailing him and hope that he isn’t slated for yet another significant obstacle in his career path.
If May does end up needing to miss some time, the Dodgers would still be in decent shape, but it would deal another blow to their rotation depth. Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin and Noah Syndergaard would still give them a solid front four. Syndergaard has a 5.94 ERA on the year but the others are all below 3.65.
Further down the club’s depth chart, Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove are both on the injured list already and don’t seem to be immediate options to jump back to the big league club.
Gavin Stone and Andre Jackson are each on the 40-man roster and could be recalled, if necessary. Prospect Bobby Miller is in Triple-A but has an 8.64 ERA through his first three starts there this year and isn’t on the 40-man roster.
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