He allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four batters over four innings.
That’s not the May that dominated over his first five starts of the 2021 season, to the tune of a 2.74 ERA, but it’s understandable given his recent background.
Last May, the pitcher blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.
His long rehab took him to September 2022, where we are currently, and he is still struggling to regain his best form.
That is completely expected given the long layoff: pitchers aren’t machines that will automatically go back to dominating after being out 16 months.
May Still Has Some Work To Do
There are things they need to iron out: command, control, sequencing, the break of their pitches, a lack of stamina, and more.
He has the backing of his manager, though.
“Dave Roberts said Dustin May is ‘a long way from finishing school’ as he works through issues with sequencing (trying to ‘bully’ hitters), command, etc. Asked if May has enough time to figure it out, Roberts said: ‘Absolutely. Because it’s not about having the tools or weapons,’” The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya tweeted.
Dave Roberts said Dustin May is "a long way from finishing school" as he works through issues with sequencing (trying to "bully" hitters), command, etc.
Asked if May has enough time to figure it out, Roberts said: "Absolutely. Because it’s not about having the tools or weapons”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 22, 2022
Generally speaking, the first thing a pitcher regains after surgery and physical therapy is his velocity.
In this specific regard, there has been no issues, as May is still averaging more than 98 mph.
His command, however, needs work, and that will come with innings and reps.
Because of the Dodgers’ enviable pitching depth, he likely won’t have a rotation spot in October.
He is still expected to contribute in another role, and still has one more start to show some progress.