The Los Angeles Dodgers top pitching prospect might not be on the opening day roster.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will finally commence the 2020 season on Thursday in a match-up against their natural rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the season, teams will be allowed to carry 30 players on their active roster to start the season. But top pitching prospect Dustin May might not be one of those players.
UPDATE: This post was written before news broke that Clayton Kershaw has been placed on the injured list with back stiffness, so Dustin May will take his place and start on opening night. Read more here.
According to the MLB transactions page, Dustin May has been optioned to the alternate workout site at USC.
We learned earlier this week that the Dodgers had optioned their top positional prospect Gavin Lux to USC. There is no official word form the team on whether May has in fact been optioned as well.
Per the MLB transaction report, the Dodgers have added outfielder Terrance Gore to their active roster. The speedster is expected to play a key role under the new exhibition rules with each team starting their respective inning with a runner at second base. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has mentioned Gore’s name as a potential pinch-runner in those situations.
The Dodgers later confirmed that May has been left off the initial active roster. The team will carry 16 pitchers and 14 positional players. Dennis Santana, Scott Alexander, and Jake McGee are some names that jump out as players who took what could have been an extra roster spot for May. You can see the entire 30-man roster here.
Dustin May could still play a big role on the Dodgers this season.
Dustin May made his major league debut last season, pitching both as a starter and in relief over 14 games. He looked as good as the scouting reports and his minor league performance would suggest, pitching to a 3.63 ERA while striking out 8.3 K/9 and walking only 1.3 BB/9.
Major League teams are allowed to carry four extra players for the first two weeks of the season, before rosters are trimmed to 28 players, and then down to the traditional 26-man count after four weeks.
In a season when players will be constantly monitored for Covid symptoms and injuries could be more prevalent due to the compressed schedule, it would seem only a matter of time before a roster spot opens up for May. This way, the Dodgers can keep his arm sharp until they need him.
Once David Price opted out of playing this season, there was some thought that May could be a replacement for the veteran left-hander in the rotation. However, Ross Stripling quickly made the case to take that spot.
Clayton Kershaw will take the mound on Thursday to start what the Dodgers hope is the beginning of a championship season amid these strange times of playing through the coronavirus pandemic.