Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers went into Spring Training last year with a surplus of starting pitchers that was ultimately settled by Julio Urias and Dustin May being named to the Opening Day rotation.
For May, it represented the biggest opportunity of his young career thus far. He began to build on a successful 2020 showing, but it only lasted five starts. The right-hander suffered an injury in his May 1 outing against the Milwaukee Brewers and wound up undergoing Tommy John surgery.
May finished 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He showed improved command and pitch sequencing, and increased his strikeouts per nine innings to 13.7, which was a notable jump from averaging 7.1 the season prior.
May’s injury was a bit of foreshadowing for the Dodgers’ health last year and robbed them of a pitcher that Justin Turner said the team expected to lean on.
“He was a big part of our rotation and he was getting better every time he took the mound. That’s a significant loss for us,” Turner said at the time of May’s injury.
“That’s a significant arm we’ve relied on and were planning on relying on. Just feel terrible for Dustin. Obviously it’s not something anyone wants to go through or experience. Just wishing him a speedy recovery and hopefully he can stay mentally strong, get through this, talk to a lot of guys who have experienced it and come out of it better and stronger.”
May’s 2021 highlight
After struggling a bit against the Seattle Mariners, May turned in a stellar outing his next time out. He held the San Diego Padres to just one run on two hits and collected a season-high 10 strikeouts over six innings.
The Dodgers don’t anticipate May returning from Tommy John surgery until some time after the 2022 All-Star Game. The timeline could amount to the 24-year-old pitching out of the bullpen, much like he did for parts of 2019 and 2020.
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