Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Not Ready to Hand Dustin May a Postseason Role Just Yet

After Dustin May’s poor performance on Wednesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts isn’t quite ready to commit to May in L.A.’s postseason rotation.

Dodgers starter Dustin May has made six starts since his return from Tommy John surgery. He had two good starts against the Marlins, two less-good starts against the Padres, an outstanding start in San Francisco, and then a huge clunker on Wednesday against the DBacks.

May’s “stuff” has looked great, but his command has failed him at times. The lack of command sometimes manifests itself in walks, but sometimes it’s simply getting into too many hitter’s counts and suffering the natural consequences of that.

The lack of consistency is to be expected coming back from Tommy John, but the Dodgers have been hoping May would forcefully claim a role as one of their four postseason starters. That hasn’t happened yet, although he has two starts remaining in the regular season.

After Wednesday’s four-inning, five-run performance in which he allowed seven hits, two walks, and one hit batter, L.A. manager Dave Roberts was asked about May’s progression and the timing for deciding the postseason rotation. As Fabian Ardaya writes for The Athletic, Roberts was open about May’s situation.

It left his ERA, through six post-surgery starts, at 4.50. Perfectly middling, the type of promise the Dodgers could easily stomach should the calendar be pushed back a month or so.

But given May’s standing as potentially starting one of the Dodgers’ postseason games in a little less than a month, it’s enough to sound an alarm.

“Obviously,” Roberts said, “time is of the essence.”

Pressed if there was enough time to figure things out, Roberts was firm.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Because it’s not about having the tools or weapons.”

Roberts was asked if May’s role in the postseason starting rotation is set in stone, but the manager wasn’t ready to commit.

“Is it cemented?” Roberts said Wednesday afternoon of the odds May is utilized as a starter in the postseason. “I’d probably stop short of that. But that’s most plausible.”

Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw, assuming health, have the top two spots in the rotation locked up. Tyler Anderson doesn’t fill hitters with dread, but he keeps going out and pitching well, so he’s a reasonable option as the third starter. That would leave one spot for May, Andrew Heaney, and Tony Gonsolin to fight over — or, perhaps, fill together in some sort of piggyback fashion.

But whatever the decision, the first step is for May to show a lot more command and consistency in his final two starts than he did on Wednesday.

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