Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
A rash of Los Angeles Dodgers injuries early into the 2023 season has tested their starting pitching depth, and now the team appears to be facing some concern with Dustin May as he came out of his start Wednesday due to right elbow pain.
He completed a scoreless first inning against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday but was replaced by Dylan Covey at the start of the second. May’s velocity was down from his season average during the 16-pitch inning.
Other than not having the usual zip on is fastball, there weren’t any outward signs of trouble. May allowed a one-out single but otherwise struck out two batters en route to not allowing a run.
Wednesday’s start was May’s ninth in what’s his first full season since returning from Tommy John surgery. He entered the day 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
“I feel fine. There’s still room to improve on executing throws but I feel OK. Doing alright,” May said of his 2023 season thus far. “It’s good to be able to go out and compete.”
When discussing May’s development this season prior to the right-hander taking the mound against the Twins, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts agreed with his trajectory being similar to Walker Buehler’s breakout season.
“Yeah, I think that’s fair. To start, you’re kind of getting your feet wet, figure yourself out, figure the league out. And then there comes a point where there’s real confidence for a young player and not contrived,” Roberts said.
“I think right now, Dustin feels when he takes the mound he’s the best guy out there and he can go out there and dominate. I think Walker felt that in his second or third year. … I think Dustin is understanding what it’s like to be a Major League pitcher. I think when he was younger, you just try to bully guys.
“At this level you can’t do that, because they just don’t fear the baseball, they don’t fear stuff. You’ve got to make pitches. Now with that mindset, I think his delivery is much more consistent and he’s making more quality pitches.”
What Dustin May injury means for Dodgers
Should May miss any starts, he likely would be replaced in the rotation by Gavin Stone. Another option could be Covey, but his appearance on Wednesday was a first in the Majors since 2020.
Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot have faced batters at Camelback Ranch but neither started a rehab assignment.
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