Dodgers pitcher Dustin May left his start on Wednesday afternoon against the Twins after just one inning, experiencing right elbow pain. He’ll be placed on the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said after the game.
“We got some early tests, and it’s a flexor pronator strain. That’s an IL,” Roberts said, per SportsNet LA. “When he returns to play, I don’t know the answer.”
Source: Early testing showed Dustin May's UCL didn't appear to be impacted. Diagnosed with a flexor pronator strain. Dave Roberts said missing a month was "the floor" but didn't want to speculate beyond that. https://t.co/uL4eOeTyGk— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 17, 2023
May worked around a single to strike out two in a scoreless first inning, throwing 16 pitches. Half of those were two-seam fastballs that averaged 94.7 mph, down from 96.7 mph on the season for the right-hander. May also threw four cutters and two four-seam fastballs, and those were down two ticks as well from his season average.
Wednesday is just the 15th start for May since coming back from Tommy John surgery, which sidelined him for 15 months from May 2021 to August 2022. This season he has a 2.63 ERA in nine starts, with 34 strikeouts and 16 walks in 48 innings, the latter third on the staff behind Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías.
The Dodgers have tried to be cautious with May in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. After a career-high 104 pitches on April 28 against St. Louis, May was given seven days of rest before his next start, with Gavin Stone making his major league debut in between to give the starting rotation a bit of a reset.
“We all sort of get mired in each start. But we have a lot of people that forecast usage, and we’ve still got to be mindful of what Dustin has been through in the last calendar year and a half,” Roberts said on May 1. “We pushed him a lot at this point, but if we can at times give him an extra day or two, we feel it can only prove beneficial.”
Wednesday was May’s third start on four days rest this season.
Dylan Covey, who was called up from Triple-A earlier Wednesday to add a fresh arm to a beleaguered bullpen, took over for May in the second inning. The 31-year-old Covey was a starter for Oklahoma City, with a 4.22 ERA in 32 innings and lasted five innings in three of his previous four starts.