Dodgers' silence on Dustin May situation may not bode well for 2023 status

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Dodgers
Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

When Dustin May went down about a month ago, Los Angeles Dodgers fans knew it was bad. He suffered a forearm/elbow injury to the same arm that underwent Tommy John surgery back during the first half of the 2021 season.

The Dodgers almost immediately placed him on the 60-day injured list and didn't offer a timetable for his return. Back on May 22, the right-hander received a platelet-rich plasma injection and the team said he would be re-evaluated in six weeks.

We're not quite at six weeks, but there's pretty much been silence on the topic with nothing positive to report. Last week, manager Dave Roberts said he didn't know when May was going to pick up a baseball, but it was even more concerning that he suggested the team would have a bit more clarity this week.

Because that hasn't been the case. Fans are still waiting for an update on one of the team's supposed core players, as May was factored in as a key rotation piece moving forward.

Unfortunately, he's appeared in just 46 games since the start of 2019, both a result of injuries and the shortened 2020 campaign. He burst back onto the scene in 2023 with a 2.63 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 0.94 WHIP in his first nine starts, but has been out ever since. That's put a ton of pressure on the rotation and bullpen.

Dodgers' silence on Dustin May front doesn't bode well for 2023 status

It's hard to project what May might be able to contribute the rest of the way if he's still potentially not close to beginning baseball activities. He made his last appearance on May 17, leaving after just one inning against the Twins once his elbow barked.

Like the situation with Ryan Pepiot and others, the Dodgers might need to act as if they're moving forward without some of these guys. With the amount of time lost due to recovery, buildup and then getting back up to game speed, it might be too late to factor them into the picture down the stretch and/or in the postseason.

May's career high in innings pitched is 56 back in 2020. Since then, he's logged a total of 101 innings, with 30 of them coming at the tail end of last season as he got some tune-up reps in his return from Tommy John.

Assuming a best-case scenario in which he's on track to return by the beginning of August, the severity of this injury, in addition to the reality that he'll need around a month back in MLB to get re-acclimated, how can the organization confidently insert him into the long-term rotation plans for the rest of the season? His status will remain wobbly until he can put forth a full season workload without interruption. Anything less than that will continue the narrative of him being a part-time contributor.

Until we hear more, it might just be best to operate as if he's not coming back. Or, at best, perhaps he's used as a weapon out of the bullpen to ease him back in, lessen his workload, and protect his longevity with this concerning injury.