Dodgers right-hander Dustin May he will undergo surgery on his right elbow to repair his flexor tendon later this month, according to a team announcement. The surgery will end the May 2023 campaign. Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic adds that May will also undergo a Tommy John checkup for a Grade 2 UCL sprain, noting that the Dodgers hope May can return midseason in 2024.
The right-hander initially went on the disabled list in May with a pronator flexor strain. which offered an initial recovery timeline of only four to six weeks. That, of course, did not happen. LA placed May on the 60-day disabled list less than a week later, a move that suggested the injury might be more significant than the club initially believed and pushed the earliest possible date for May’s return until after the All-Star break. Now, the question of May’s return to action will move to the 2024 campaign.
It’s a blow to the club’s rotation, as May posted an impressive 2.63 ERA (68% better than league average per ERA+) and a 3.27 FIP in 48 innings of work this season before his placement in the club. injured list. May is far from the only arm in the club’s rotation also struggling with injury or ineffectiveness. Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard are both on the shelf right now, while Walker Buehler and Ryan Pepiot they have yet to throw a pitch for the club this season.
Meanwhile, Julio Urías He’s coming off a six-week trip to the disabled list on his own and has struggled to post a 4.94 ERA and 5.30 FIP in the 11 starts he’s made this season. Tony Gonsolin He’s pitched mostly well this season, posting a 3.69 ERA in 61 innings, but he’s also spent time on the disabled list and has a 9.42 ERA in his last three starts. Young Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan, Michael Grove and Gavin Stone has been tasked with taking over the rotation with mixed results; while Miller and Sheehan have proven largely successful, Grove and Stone have not. All told, the quartet of prospects have posted a 6.01 ERA in 106 1/3 innings this season.
The Dodgers were already widely expected to seek pitching upgrades before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, and Tuesday’s news should only add to the club’s urgency in that regard. It’s hard to say for sure which players will be available, given how many teams have yet to commit to selling. Having said that, Marcus Stroman and Drew Smyly of the Cubs Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals, and Lucas Giolito of the White Sox are among the names that have generated the most speculation up to this point in the season.
Of course, there are plenty of names that would bolster the Dodgers’ weak pitching staff that boasts a 4.48 bullpen ERA (third-worst in the NL) on top of the aforementioned turnover issues, including relief arms like Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox and Scott Barlow of the Royals. Considering the club’s 47-37 record that puts them just two games behind in the NL West and gives them possession of the second NL wild card seed, the Dodgers are well positioned to make impressive additions to their pitching staff in the coming weeks. .
Longer term, May’s injury leaves an additional question mark for the Dodgers heading into 2024. The club’s starting rotation is slated to lose Kershaw, Urias and Syndergaard to free agency this offseason. Buehler (who hopes to pitch his first full season after Tommy John surgery next year) and Gonsolin appear poised to fill two spots in the club’s starting group.
While it seems reasonable to expect at least one empty spot in the rotation to be dedicated to the club’s current generation of youngsters, that still leaves two openings for the club to fill its rotation by Opening Day 2024, either by way of re -Sign one of their outgoing free agents, dip into the rest of a deep free agency pitching class, or acquire a controlled arm beyond this season via trade. Of course, the Dodgers are expected to have an interest in the two-way superstar. Shohei Ohtani when he hits the open market after the 2023 season ends. However, Ohtani has pitched exclusively as a member of a six-man rotation during his time in the majors, meaning his hypothetical addition wouldn’t change the need for arms. club additions.