Dodgers: Dustin May looks to take advantage of Stripling’s setback

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 07: Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on August 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 07: Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on August 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Dodgers’ starter Ross Stripling was supposed to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday. He is now out another week opening the door for Dustin May.

Ross Stripling was supposed to begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday but he has now been pushed back for one more week.  After initially going on the injured list with a neck strain, it has turned out to be a biceps issue for the Dodgers’ starter.  That means at least one more week in the rotation for rookie Dustin May.

Dustin May made his second start of his career on Wednesday against the Cardinals and he was much better than his first outing.  Not only did May throw more strikes, but he also struck out more than double the amount he did in his debut and he allowed just one run which came on a home run by Marcell Ozuna.

In a matchup against another top young starting pitcher, Dustin May gave the Dodgers a strong start that set them up for another walk-off victory.  His next start will come against a much easier opponent as the Dodgers will travel to Miami next week to take on the Marlins.  With Stripling shut down for another week, that guarantees that May will get at least one or two more starts after next week’s start.

With Rich Hill not due back until the middle of September at the earliest, this swings the door wide open for Dustin May to work his way onto the Dodgers’ postseason roster.  While Dave Roberts has said that May could come out of the bullpen in October, Dustin can force the Dodgers’ hand if he continues to dominate as a starting pitcher.

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While the top three of the Dodgers’ playoff rotation is set in stone, barring the order, the club’s fourth playoff rotation spot is up for grabs.  Ross Stripling, Rich Hill, and Dustin May are the three candidates for that spot as Kenta Maeda will shift into a relief role again for the postseason.  May has a head start on the competition since he is the only one healthy.

After the front office learned their mistake leaving Walker Buehler off the postseason roster in 2017, they are not going to make the same mistake this year with Dustin May.  Armed with a power sinker in the upper 90s and a sharp cutter, there are only a few pitchers on the active roster who have stuff in the same stratosphere as Dustin May.

Whether he comes out of the bullpen or ends up the club’s fourth starter after the National League Division Series, Dustin May will be a high impact pitcher for the Dodgers this postseason.  If he does become part of their rotation for a possible NLCS and World Series, then the Dodgers will have arguably the best playoff rotation in baseball.  At least stuff wise, May would be the best fourth playoff starter in the postseason.

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Last year the Dodgers got to see Walker Buehler blossom into a stellar October pitcher after a rough first playoff start and this year the same could happen for Dustin May.  Sometimes a player just needs an opportunity to shine and with Ross Stripling experiencing a setback, the opportunity is there for May to pitch his way into a big role for October.