CHICAGO – Dustin May got an MRI on Monday morning, and that was it.
His season was over.
May will have Tommy John surgery next week, leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers without one of baseball’s top young pitchers for the rest of their title defense.
“It’s a big blow,” manager Dave Roberts said before the team’s series opener against the Cubs was postponed because of inclement weather in the forecast. “But we’ve got a lot of talented players, and we just got to find a way to fill that void.”
The 23-year-old May was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday, a day after the right-hander winced in pain on the mound and was forced to leave a start at Milwaukee.
The World Series champion Dodgers, already beset by several injuries to their pitching staff, said Dr. Neal El Attrache will perform May's ligament reconstruction surgery on May 11 in Los Angeles.
“It’s obviously very disappointing,” Roberts said. “He’s handling it like a pro. You know, wants to figure out what’s the next step after surgery and kind of attack it that way.”
May threw just 27 pitches before leaving Saturday’s 11-inning loss to Milwaukee. After his final pitch, May reacted with obvious discomfort, took a few steps and called for attention.
He was 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in five starts this season. He has a career mark of 6-5 with a 2.93 ERA in 31 appearances, including 19 starts, since making his debut in August 2019.
Last year, May pitched seven times in the postseason, including twice in the World Series against Tampa Bay. He made three starts for short stints in the earlier rounds of the NL playoffs.
“When you’re developing and now you get the year cut short, that impacts development,” Roberts said. “What Dustin has done is he’s just matured more as a major league ballplayer.”
May joins a crowd of Dodgers pitchers on the injured list that also includes Caleb Ferguson (left elbow surgery), Tony Gonsolin (right shoulder inflammation), Brusdar Graterol (right forearm tightness), Tommy Kahnle (Tommy John surgery), Joe Kelly (shoulder inflammation), Corey Knebel (right lat strain) and David Price (right hamstring strain).
Graterol, a hard-throwing reliever, will get some imaging done on Tuesday, Roberts said.
The Dodgers still have one of the majors’ best rotations, with NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Julio Urías.
Roberts said the team is considering having Bauer work every four days, something the pitcher has wanted to try in the past. Gonsolin also is being built up as a starter.
Kershaw and Bauer will pitch when Los Angeles makes up the postponement with a split doubleheader against Chicago on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks will face Kershaw in Game 1, and the Cubs did not announce their starter for the second game.
In another move, the Dodgers also claimed right-hander Phil Bickford off waivers from Milwaukee.
Bickford made one appearance for Milwaukee this season, allowing two runs in one inning during an 8-0 loss to Miami last week. He was designated for assignment on Wednesday.
Bickford, a Ventura, California, native, was selected by San Francisco in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft. He made his big league debut on Sept. 1, allowing four runs in one inning for the Brewers against Detroit.
“I know he's a LA County kid,” Roberts said. “I know it's a really good fastball. It's a (changeup) in there. ... I know he's happy to be a Dodger.”
Robert said Bickford is heading to the team's alternate site in Arizona. Left-hander James Pazos is expected to join the big league club.
The Dodgers designated lefty Mike Kickham for assignment to create room for Bickford. In his only appearance so far this season, Kickham was charged with three runs in two innings Sunday at Milwaukee.
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