Things are very much not good for the Los Angeles Dodgers right now.
They’ve scored 64 runs over their last 16 games, and if you take out their two blowout victories that yielded 24 runs, then they’ve scored 40 runs in 14 of those games.
They’re 4-12 over that span. The worst in the National League.
And these are the reigning World Series champions we’re talking about.
The injury bug has hit them pretty hard, but to still possess a lineup with All-Star-caliber Major League players (Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Max Muncy are all still there!) and not be able to produce for this long is borderline unacceptable.
The worst part? The front office figured, “Hey, in the event our offense goes into an unthinkable drought, let’s just create the best starting rotation the sport may ever see? That’d be fun, right?”
So they signed Trevor Bauer to a record-breaking contract to join Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Dustin May. But now May is done for the year after the team announced he would undergo Tommy John surgery in wake of his scary injury suffered this past Saturday.
Now, the rotation has an opening and the Dodgers need to fill it. We really don’t want to see bullpen games become a thing. Let’s take a look at some internal and external options to help alleviate the loss of May, who was providing elite production as a back-end starter.
These three Dustin May replacements could save the Dodgers’ rotation.
3. Josiah Gray
Look, we know, the Dodgers already said Josiah Gray would NOT be an option to fill the fifth spot in the rotation. But just because they said no right now, doesn’t mean that won’t change.
The minor-league season has begun and Gray is headlining the Triple-A Oklahoma City roster. Assuming the top prospect can blow by the competition in his first few outings, would the team reconsider? It’s not like he’s too young for his service-time clock to begin. He’s in his age-23 season.
A fastball-slider-changeup mix will work just fine in the back end of this Dodgers rotation. He owns a 2.37 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 38 career minor league games (37 starts). He really may not need much more refinement if he can prove early on in Triple-A that his stuff is still electric.
The only problem here, which is a problem for just about every pitcher who’s not an established MLBer, is the fact he may not be built up appropriately to provide length as a starter for the remainder of the season. His last full campaign was 2019 and he only threw 130 innings.
Then again, if you can get some work out of him before the trade deadline, maybe it’ll be worthwhile as a stopgap.