2. Dodgers Fifth Starter Pros and Cons: Dustin May
Dustin May’s biggest pros are his electricity and his projectability. After just one shortened season in the big leagues, to paraphrase Peter Griffin, May could be anything! He could even be David Price! Kidding, of course, but the potential remains tantalizing.
Though most outsiders remember May most out of the ‘pen last October, and probably envision him as a natural reliever given the sheer velocity he’s working with, 10 of his 12 appearances in the 2020 regular season were as a starter, and he delivered…though not to the extent many probably believed he would.
2.57 ERA and 1.4 WAR? Great! Just 44 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched and a garish FIP of 4.62? There was plenty of room for regression in his efforts.
May is probably the easiest Dodger to envision in the bullpen to start the 2021 season, and feels like the first fighter eliminated from this three-man weave. But if Los Angeles gives him a middle-innings or occasional back-end spot, are they dooming his development a la Joba Chamberlain? Are there long-term considerations here about bouncing May back and forth between extended outings and short spurts?
Possibly, but the team also has to consider baked-in innings restrictions from 2020. There’s probably no better time to experiment with May to see just how fast he can get that fastball in one-inning outings, considering they won’t be able to tax his arm too heavily anyway.