Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Signs Point to Dustin May Securing Fifth Rotation Spot

With the 2021 season just a few days away, things are finally starting to fall into place for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The battle for the final bench spot seems to have reached its conclusion, and this might also be the case with the starting rotation and bullpen battles.

Shortly after this was tweeted out, however, the Dodgers announced that Gonsolin would indeed be starting after Price was ruled out with an illness.

As Jorge Castillo mentioned in his initial tweet, Tony Gonsolin only started one spring training game heading into Sunday. And if it weren’t for a last-minute change, he would have come out of the pen against the Angels as well. May, on the other hand, has started 3 games and was stretched to 5 innings his last time out.

Dave Roberts only announced the first four starters for the year, leaving the fifth spot to be taken by one of May, Gonsolin, or Price. But with the way the team has handled its starters as spring training comes to a close, the eventual answer seems to be that Dustin May will get the nod.

Notably, May will start LA’s final spring outing against the Angels on Tuesday which conveniently would line him up to start game 5 of the regular season. Furthermore, Dustin has started the most games (3) of anyone not named Kershaw, Buehler, Bauer, or Urias this spring.

Still, Roberts wouldn’t reveal who gets that start just yet, stating that the club hasn’t “finalized that last piece.”


If May does indeed take the fifth spot in the rotation, it will look a little something like this:

  1. Clayton Kershaw (L)
  2. Trevor Bauer (R)
  3. Walker Buehler (R)
  4. Julio Urías (L)
  5. Dustin May (R)

Regardless of who takes the fifth spot, this will be one of the top rotations in all of baseball once again. Adding a piece like Trevor Bauer will be a big reason why, but so will a full season from Dustin May.

And just in case you still need proof of how nasty May is on the mound, here are a few examples from his most recent outings.

The Dodgers are expected to make another deep October run once again, and Dustin May certainly figures to play a big role along the way.

NEXT: Corey Knebel Injury Update Proves to Be Best Case Scenario

Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!


  1. Something to talk about, but it’s an over-rated decision. Whoever gets the start will probably go 3 innings, and then they’ll bring another one of them in. Within 2-3 weeks, the rotation will be different, for one reason or another.

    1. exactly – it doesn’t matter as we have as many as 8 starters ready to go. You got to love the depth this team has across the board on pitching and defense.

  2. Roberts isn’t telling the whole truth; there will be six starters, likely Gonsolin.

    You absolutely cannot go from a shortened season where your pitchers got in 50 or so innings for the year, then expect them to go out the following season and throw 200 innings. You want to intentionally damage your pitchers? Do exactly that.

    So Gonsolin will be the “unofficial” 6th starter, and Price will get an occasional start to keep the staff at about 120-150 innings this year. They have to. Making your starters go 200 innings after only throwing 50 last year would be criminal.

    Roberts knows this and even talked about this exact situation early in camp. How they do it remains in the details. Gonsolin is in an option year, so he can be shuttled back and forth. Or simply as a “bullpen arm” that starts ever 6th, 7th or 8th day.

    1. You’re right 68. And when you go to alternating RHP and LHP, I still think the best rotation is:


      With May and Gonsolin possibly sharing the 5 spot. But I like the 6 man rotation better. The young arms shouldn’t be stressed. And Kershaw is older and more prone to injury, despite a very healthy but short 2020. Other guys should get get periodic starts too, like Nelson, if they look good out of the pen. It’s always a fluid thing. Gray should be called up for a couple starts as well. The rotation, as well as the bullpen, should be allowed to sort itself out based on performance, with opportunities given to everyone.

    2. If the Dodgers with 8 starters are in trouble due to the expanded innings this season, then what do you think about the other teams with 3, 4 or 5 legit starters at most? If its half as bad a year for starting pitchers in general as you say, then the Dodgers should win 100+ games having 8 legit starters ready to go. AF and doc have demonstrated they know what to do over the course of the long season with the starting pitching, as well as the bullpen. Dodgers will be fine with 5, 6, 7 or 8 starters, and 8 relievers.

  3. I don’t have any issues with how the starting rotation fills out. I DO however don’t like at all the all LH hitting bench and with that, watch what happens in the later innings.

    1. The bench will have at least 2 RH bats: Taylor and Barnes. Dodgers may miss Kike a bit here or there but overall should be fine with the bench.

  4. Not a bad choice since Kershaw, Buehler, Bauer, and Gonsolin all got hit from pretty hard to very hard this past week in the last starts. And except for the last loss none got any hitting support either

  5. Can’t deny that the way the team has used the 3 competitors for the 5 spot seems to favor May. The author makes a good point as do the commenters below. I’m not sure why we care since it’s all going to change again soon. But just for discussion, May has the biggest up-side of the 3 pitchers involved. Why not slot him in the rotation early on and manage his workload carefully this season? I suspect he will struggle a bit as most young pitchers do and I would hate to see him used too heavily but the dodgers know pitching and use the revolving door extensively so nothing is cast in stone. My thinking is the team wants to develop Gonsolin and May and this is the year to do so. They also want to protect David Price given his lack of work last year. At least we can say Doc and company are going about this wisely. They would be the first to tell us, adjustments will be made as needed.

  6. Kershaw is probably more of a #3 at this stage of his career, Bauer the same #3, Buehler is the staff ace, but doesn’t get motivated until mid-season to pitch well, Urias is another staff ace, but continues to struggle in inning one, and May is a potential staff ace maybe two years from now. I like the youth in Urias, Buehler, May and Gonsolin, but I do not see the staff as elite as a whole yet, …more deep than elite.

    How ‘bout the offense…hits anyone?

  7. I only wish the Dodgers would have kept Kike Hernandez just to have one right handed pinch hitter because he’s a much better hitter than Beatty.
    But Kike will get to be a starter with the Red Sox and hopefully prove to the Dodgers that he can be an everyday player.

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