Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers closed out their homestand with a 7-3 win against the Minnesota Twins to take a sixth consecutive series, but it came at a significant cost as Dustin May was removed due to what an MRI revealed to be a flexor pronator strain.
May completed a scoreless first inning and had two strikeouts on 16 pitches before coming out because of what the Dodgers initially deemed right elbow pain.
“Not great right now,” answered manager Dave Roberts when asked for an update on May’s status after the win. “It’s an IL, and when he returns to play, I don’t know that answer.”
Roberts added it’s plausible May’s latest injury is related to the previous Tommy John surgery that cut his 2021 season short. The Dodgers believe the ulnar collateral ligament in May’s surgically-repaired right elbow remains intact, although Roberts acknowledged he could not definitively declare as much.
Further encouraging for the Dodgers is May did not suffer the injury on one specific pitch.
“Coming out of his last start, he felt there was normal soreness like any starting pitcher has. Obviously, he felt good enough to make the start,” Roberts said.
“After that first inning, the velocity wasn’t there and we saw him moving his hand. Those are signs that something is not right. … He was trying to lobby to stay in there and finish what he started, but we had to do what’s best for him and his career.”
May entered the start — his ninth this season — with 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He generally was pleased with his performance but noted there was “still room to improve on executing throws”.
While May and the Dodgers appear to have avoided a season-ending injury, the 25-year-old nevertheless is likely to be out for an extended period of time.
“I don’t want to get too far ahead. I know it’s an IL, I think a month is fair as a floor,” Roberts said. “We’ll see after that.”
What Dustin May injury means for Dodgers
For the time being, the Dodgers’ first roster move to replace May is recalling Justin Bruihl. He was optioned on Wednesday in order for Dylan Covey’s contract to be selected from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Covey took over for May and allowed two runs over four-plus innings.
“Covey was great. He was fantastic,” Roberts said. “Obviously, having Dustin go short and considering where we’ve been at, for him to go four innings, keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance to win, was huge. Couldn’t be more happy for him.”
As for implications with the Dodgers starting rotation moving forward, Covey could help fill the void but Gavin Stone figures to be a more likely candidate.
Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot, both of whom are facing batters at Camelback Ranch but not yet started rehab assignments, could factor into the picture later down the road.
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