As long as we don’t see any more major trades or player acquisitions over the next few days, we can start shaping the picture of how the core of the Dodgers’ roster will look for the first few weeks of the season.
Two of the biggest question marks over the past few weeks have been the depth of the bullpen and the health of the starting rotation. GM Brandon Gomes and team boss Andrew Friedman took care of the former with a surprise trade for closer Craig Kimbrel, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding the latter.
We have a firm idea of how the Los Angeles rotation will look to start the season with Walker Buehler going on Opening Day followed by Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney in no particular order.
At first glance, we have two horses in Buehler and Urias. Kershaw faces what could be a season that determines the remainder of his MLB career. Gonsolin has battled shoulder issues that have deterred his early progress and consistency.
Heaney has shown a ton of mediocrity over his career but hopes to get things together in a new uniform.
As far as depth goes, newly acquired Tyler Anderson will be the long man and spot starter until David Price gets in gear and the league decides what to do about Trevor Bauer. Fringe options include Mitch White, Andre Jackson and youngsters like Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot.
However, one name that has been appearing in the news lately is Dustin May. The 24-year-old righty is right on time with his rehab schedule and hopes to be pitching in a big-league uniform not long after the 2022 All-Star break.
Early in his recovery, May stated that he hoped to be throwing off a mound in camp by April, and his tweet on Saturday made that prediction accurate.
There’s no question that may has some of the best stuff in the organization, as his triple-digit heat and nasty cutter highlight an extensive repertoire, which is especially impressive for a 24-year-old youngster.
Before his surgery last spring, May flashed some of the best numbers he’s shown so far, with a 2.74 ERA, a 0.957 WHIP and a 13.7 K/9 in his first few weeks of the season. If he comes back from his surgery with the same velocity and similar spin rates, there’s no question he could slot into a rotation spot by season’s end.
In some ways, if things stay on schedule, it will be like receiving a free upgrade at the 2022 trade deadline. The important thing first, though, is making sure May stays healthy and sticks to the prescribed recovery program. Regardless of how weak the Los Angeles rotation might be on the back end right now, there’s absolutely no reason to rush May back.