Can Los Angeles Dodgers count on Dustin May in 2022?

May 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dustin May (85) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dustin May (85) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in an unusual situation heading into the 2022 season. Their rotation is a giant question mark as it is unclear who will be taking the ball most evenings. Walker Buehler and Julio Urias are penned into two of those spots, but question marks abound everywhere else.

Those question marks mean even more eyes will be on Dustin May as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. The best case scenario is that he will be ready for the second half of the upcoming season, giving the Dodgers a boost as they head towards what they hope will be another run to the playoffs.

Dustin May the Los Angeles Dodgers wild card

May has been a solid pitcher during his time on the mound. He has posted a 2.93 ERA and a 1.065 WHiP in his 113.2 innings, striking out 111 batters with 27 walks. The problem is that he does not have much of a track record in the majors, with his 56 innings in 2020 as the most he has thrown in a major league season.

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The Dodgers are going to need him to be that same pitcher if he returns for the second half of the year. Their current depth chart only lists Urias, Buehler, and Tony Gonsolin in the rotation as their other arms are up in the air. Trevor Bauer would theoretically fill one of those spots, but his legal situation and potential punishment from the league are still undetermined.

Likewise, Clayton Kershaw remains unsigned. While the hope is that he will return to the Dodgers, it is possible that he does depart, with the Rangers as the most likely destination. Should that happen, the Dodgers could end up with at least two rookies amongst their starters, not a situation that a team looking to contend for the playoffs would expect to find themselves.

This leaves May as a vitally important piece. Although they will need to work him back with caution, the Dodgers may need him to perform at close to the same level that he has in the past. His success, or lack thereof, in the second half could be the key to their season. But he is not someone that the Dodgers can truly count on just yet.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers will need Dustin May to return to form as quickly as possible. But they cannot count on that to happen.