Dodgers pitcher Dustin May, out with a lower-back issue, won’t return from the injured list during the regular season, but the team remains hopeful he’ll be ready for the National League Division Series when it kicks off on October 11.
May is working towards that goal, and Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts gave an update on the big righty’s progress during his media scrum prior to Friday’s game with the Rockies.
Dustin May threw his first bullpen today since going on IL. Was 15-16 pitches.
Dave Roberts said he will throw another on Sunday, then could face hitters during sim games before the NLDS
Roberts said he’s getting more confident May will be back for the DS
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) September 30, 2022
The way this situation is playing out is unlike a regular-season IL stint, where the goal is always a vague “get back as soon as possible” kind of thing. In May’s case, the goal is much more concrete: be ready to throw three or four innings in a game by October 14 (Game 3 of the NLDS, presumably the earliest in the series L.A. would be likely to use him). To that end, the Dodgers coaching and training staff can work backwards and set benchmarks for where May needs to be between now and then.
Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, and Tyler Anderson are set in stone (assuming health) to start the first three games of the NLDS, probably in that order. Game 4 is the big questions mark, with May and Tony Gonsolin currently on the injured list and lefty Andrew Heaney being primed to pitch out of the bullpen. A piggyback solution in Game 4 is likely, and it’s possible Roberts might want to employ a similar approach in Game 3 with May following Anderson.
Whatever the approach, if May is healthy and effective, he’ll be a boon to the Los Angeles pitching staff.
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