June 13, 2024

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Dodgers’ Dustin May has a flexor strain, and the rotation has a cloudy future

LOS ANGELES – Dustin May’s career has always been about potential. That electric right arm. And the wicked move and flirt over all his offerings. The kind of fire coming out of him at every turn, red curls falling from his hat.

Dominance on the field came in bewildering doses. Wednesday was supposed to be the continuation of a hot streak: Through his first eight starts, he posted a 2.68 ERA and looked like one of the best rookies in the sport.

Instead, the afternoon lasted 16 pitches during a 7-3 win over the Twins. No step exceeded 95.8 mph, an alarming sight from a right-hander known for his speed and ridiculous movement. After a quick discussion on the bench with manager Dave Roberts and pitching coach Mark Pryor after the first summit, May grabbed his things and disappeared down the tunnel down to the local clubhouse at Dodger Stadium. His elbow was barking again.

The 25-year-old was starting out on his own, having removed just 14 Tommy John surgeries that threatened his rise as early as ever. Now, he will miss at least a month and possibly more, after early tests indicated May had suffered a pronation stressor, Roberts said.

A league source said May was in some pain during his rehabilitation the athlete, but he thought it was a normal part of his recovery from surgery. Tests on Wednesday showed a Grade 1 strain in his flexor tendon, which did not heal properly during his rehabilitation, leading to some discomfort.

“(It’s) not great right now,” said Roberts, as May left the field to get an MRI.

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Those tests showed that the injury did not appear to affect the surgically reconstructed ulnar collateral ligament, league sources reported. the athlete. You may receive an injection of platelet-rich plasma into the tendon to promote healing in the area in hopes of avoiding surgery at the end of the season. If the injections work properly, the source said, the hope is that May will be back in four to six weeks.

The right-hander has blossomed this spring, taking advantage of his first normal off-season in years to look like a solid starter at the front of the rotation. He’s revamped his arsenal by changing the shape of some of his broken pitches and changing his use on the field, finding amazing results. May looked like the pitcher that was promised when he emerged as a great fire prospect. That advance took a massive turn Wednesday afternoon, as he walked down the steps hidden with him.

“At the moment, Dustin feels that when he takes the hill, he’s the best guy out there and he’s going to get out there and dominate,” Roberts said Wednesday morning, just two hours before May’s bad start.

May hasn’t felt anything on the field, Roberts said, and hasn’t felt anything other than the usual pain in his work between starts since hitting the seventh inning in the win over the Padres last Friday at Dodger Stadium.

That did not ease the anxiety of witnessing the May era end so abruptly as it did. He became only the second Dodgers player in less than a week to be out of a start after one inning due to injury after he cut off Noah Syndergaard’s bloodied finger on his start in Milwaukee. Syndergaard lasted just four innings on Monday as the Dodgers starters combined to throw nine innings in three games against the Twins.

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Just making it to Wednesday was a chore that required calling 31-year-old Dylan Coffey to his first appearance in the major leagues in three seasons after spending the past few years in the CPBL in Taiwan.

“Two years ago, I never thought I’d be back in this situation,” said Coffey, a former White Sox Rule 5 whose last taste of the majors came over eight innings in a pandemic-shortened season. Red Sox.

The Southern California native pitched four innings (allowing earned runs) to save a beleaguered Dodgers that had to cover 21 of the 30 innings of the series after Monday’s game went into extra innings. The Dodgers are in the middle of a 13-game stretch in 13 days.

More reinforcements will soon be needed for a rotation that is suddenly feeling tense in May’s absence. Gavin Stone is the most likely choice to take May’s role in rotation in the meantime; The prospect made his big-league debut earlier this month. Stone would be in his natural role if he took May’s next start, hitting a triple-A walk where he struck out 10.

The rest of the depth remains uncertain if he may have lost any more time. Michael Grove (groin) and Ryan Pibiot (oblique) have started facing hitters in their rehab. Both pitchers will need a minor league rehab stint before they can reasonably be expected to continue through the extended run. The ongoing health of Syndergaard, who passed his start Monday with no further issues from his finger, is suddenly of paramount importance.

But none of these starters showed to have the turn-shifting effect May kept blinking.

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“It’s obviously a big part of this year,” Roberts said of May. “And it still could be. But right now, to get that fast bump again, I know it’s frustrating.”

(Photo by Dustin May: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today)