Dodgers starter Dustin May left this afternoon’s outing against the Twins after one inning with elbow discomfort. After the game, manager Dave Roberts told the team’s beat that testing revealed a flexor pronator strain in his forearm/elbow area (relayed by Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic).
Roberts called a month-long absence “the floor” for the 25-year-old hurler. As first reported by Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), May will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection. It’s not expected to require surgery, with Ardaya reporting (on Twitter) that May’s ulnar collateral ligament was not affected. Ardaya indicates the team is hoping for a four-to-six week recovery timetable if the rehab process goes as expected.
It’s mixed news for Los Angeles. There’s surely relief that May’s UCL is intact. He underwent Tommy John surgery two years ago, limiting him to 11 combined outings between 2021-22. Renewed ligament damage so quickly after that procedure could’ve raised real questions about May holding up as a starting pitcher. That fortunately won’t be the case.
In the shorter term, though, the Dodgers will now have to navigate at least the next month without one of their top arms. They’ve been without Walker Buehler since last summer’s Tommy John procedure. Depth starters Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove are on the IL; with May joining them, the Dodgers are down to a top four of Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin and Noah Syndergaard.
That’s an excellent top three but Syndergaard has had a rough go in his first season in Dodger blue. The righty has an ERA just under 6.00 through eight starts. He’s showing excellent control but working with a career-low 92 MPH average velocity on his sinker. His 16.5% strikeout rate is a touch worse than last season’s personal-worst mark.
May’s injury seemingly ensures Syndergaard will continue to get regular run out of the rotation. It also presumably sets the stage for the return of top prospect Gavin Stone. The 24-year-old righty made a spot start for his MLB debut two weeks ago. He’s pitched eight times with Triple-A Oklahoma City this year, working to a 4.04 ERA with a quality 27.5% strikeout rate but an alarming 12.8% walk percentage over 35 2/3 frames. Dylan Covey, who soaked up four innings of relief of May this afternoon during his first major league appearance since 2020, has worked out of the Triple-A rotation this year. Non-roster depth options…