Whether Caleb Ferguson, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Ross Stripling or Julio Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers not only have leaned on the organization’s young hurlers over recent seasons but capitalized on their versatility as well.
While the Dodgers have indicated Ferguson, Stripling and Urias are considered starters long-term, they have primarily been utilized as swingmen. Now Gonsolin and May are experiencing a shift in roles themselves.
Gonsolin was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday to make the first of what’s expected to be multiple starts, and that in turn bumped May into the bullpen for the series finale against the Atlanta Braves.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said May could temporarily be relied upon to pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen in the wake of Urias accepting a 20-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy:
Dustin May could assume the multiple-innings relief role of Julio Urias.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 18, 2019
Up until Rich Hill suffered a flexor strain in his left forearm, Gonsolin and May were identified as candidates for a spot in the Dodgers’ postseason bullpen. Hill’s injury appeared to create a need for a fourth starter in October, though the club maintains the veteran left-hander could fill that role himself.
In any event, the Dodgers are continuing to evaluate Gonsolin and May for any scenario. The former has more experience with pitching out of the bullpen by virtue of being a converted relief pitcher.
Comparatively, May has only made five relief appearances in his Minor League career thus far. But with Gonsolin expected to make multiple starts moving forward and Urias ineligible to be on the active roster until Sept. 2, May figures to receive ample opportunities in relief.
Like Gonsolin, he’s voiced a willingness to contribute in any role the Dodgers ask.