Dustin May will join the Dodgers soon. The right-hander is expected to make his season debut next week against the Marlins. May has been out since early last season with Tommy John surgery.
Part of the reason there wasn’t a tremendous sense of urgency among Dodger fans to trade for Luis Castillo or Pablo Lopez at the trade deadline was due to the players the Dodgers were expecting to return from injury.
In three seasons with the Dodges, the 24-year-old May has posted a 2.93 ERA and started some crucial postseason games in the 2020 World Championship run.
May made five rehab starts in the minors across multiple levels. In 16 innings pitched, he only gave up three runs. He struck out a whopping 26 batters and allowed only ten hits.
It is good to get May back, especially at this point of the season when the rotation has a few question marks.
But what exactly will his role be going forward? One problem the Dodgers have is figuring out roster spots. But come postseason time, you’ll have to see who’s in and who’s out. One advantage for May is that he already has big-time playoff experience.
Depending on health, May’s role with the team may change. If the team struggles with starting pitching, he may very well start a couple of games in the postseason. But the role May is headed towards is similar to the one Urias went by in 2020.
The Dodgers can not go into one-run games in October with Craig Kimbrel as their closer. If the Dodgers somehow fail to win a World Series because of Kimbrel, it would be very disappointing.
Enter Dustin May; imagine May as your postseason closer. That may very well be the perfect role for him. Obviously, with May, you don’t want him pitching a boatload of innings right after his injury, as it could be better to ease him in.
Walker Buehler should also return before the season ends, so there will be this influx of arms with only a few available spots come October. But for May, he should be able to cement himself in either a long relief role or alternate closer come playoff time.