The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost their top young starting pitcher to Tommy John surgery. On Monday, the Dodgers announced righty Dustin May will have his ulnar collateral ligament repaired May 11. The surgery will end his season and likely keep him out until the middle of 2022.
May, 23, suffered the injury during his most recent start this past Saturday. He threw a pitch in the second inning, winced in obvious pain, called for the trainer, then exited the game without lobbying to stay in. Here's the video:
In five starts this season, one cut short by the injury, May had a 2.74 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 23 innings.. May came into the season with a 2.98 ERA in 90 2/3 big league innings.
The Dodgers have been hit hard by pitching injuries this season. They came into the year with enviable rotation depth but are suddenly scrambling to fill their No. 5 spot. The current rotation depth chart looks something like this:
- LHP Clayton Kershaw
- RHP Trevor Bauer
- RHP Walker Buehler
- LHP Julio Urías
- RHP Dustin May (needs Tommy John surgery)
- RHP Tony Gonsolin (out with shoulder inflammation)
- LHP David Price (out with hamstring strain)
Righty Edwin Uceta made his MLB debut Friday and allowed two runs in two innings in a spot start. Los Angeles is also currently without relievers Brusdar Graterol (forearm), Joe Kelly (shoulder), and Corey Knebel (lat). Gonsolin and Price started the season in the bullpen because the Dodgers had so much rotation depth. Now they need a No. 5 starter.
These days, Tommy John surgery typically comes with a 14-18 month rehab time frame. The days of a 10-12 month rehab are pretty much over. May is still young and one of the most talented pitchers in the game, and the Dodgers control him through 2025. They want to get him healthy for the long hauls, so don't expect Los Angeles to rush May back next year.
Listen to the Nothing Personal with David Samson podcast for more on May's season-ending injury:
Despite all the pitching injuries, the Dodgers are 17-12, and they've allowed the third fewest runs per game in baseball at 3.55. That said, Los Angeles has lost 10 of their last 14 games. It's not panic time yet, but the problems are beginning to mount for the defending World Series champions.