As of right now, you’d think the Dodgers’ starting rotation is pretty set in stone. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Trevor Bauer and David Price are all locks to make it barring an injury or something coming up. Meaning, there’s one available spot.
Though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s expected that Julio Urias will be that fifth starter. The Dodgers want to continue to build him up, and as pitching coach Mark Prior said the other day, “unleash him” in 2021.
Unfortunately, Dustin May is one of the odd guys out. Him and Tony Gonsolin, two young pitchers who would be starters on nearly every other team in the league, will likely be starting the season in either the bullpen or in AAA.
“At this point in the year, I got to go out and do everything I can,” May said on Monday when speaking to reporters. “I’m fighting for a spot. We got seven guys to fill five roles. That’s my goal to be on the Opening Day roster as a starter.”
After making four starts in 2019, May made 10 starts for the Dodgers in 2020. He hasn’t done anything to warrant him being out of the rotation, but the club simply has too many good arms. Not really a bad problem to have, though.
It looked as if May would be in the starting rotation entering 2021, however the Dodgers signed Bauer to a free-agent contract, essentially knocking the 23-year-old out of the rotation. Although May could have been upset at Bauer taking his spot, May was excited to welcome him to the team.
“It’s always fun adding a Cy Young winner to the rotation,” he said. “It puts more pressure on me to go get a spot. I got to go out and fight for it.”
As I mentioned, one would assume the final spot goes to Urias, but the start of the season is still over a month away. Anything can happen. Whatever the Dodgers need from May, he’ll be ready to help his team win.
“I’m going to be ready for whatever role they put me in,” he said. “Whether it be starting or relieving. Doesn’t matter what role I’m in, as long as I’m helping the club win ballgames.”
So far through his brief career, May has made 14 starts and has come out of the bullpen 12 times during the regular season. During his postseason career, May has made three starts and appeared in six games out the bullpen, however he’s only combined for four innings in those starts, as he was used as more of an opener.