Dustin May injures elbow in Dodgers' win, expected to miss at least six weeks (2024)

As ominous as the situation appeared for Dodgers pitcher Dustin May, who was pulled from Wednesday’s 7-3 comeback victory over the Minnesota Twins after one inning because of right elbow pain, it could have been a lot worse.

An MRI revealed a flexor pronator strain that is expected to sideline May for about six weeks, an injury that put a damper on a win that featured James Outman’s tie-breaking grand slam in the seventh inning and reliever Victor Gonzalez’s bases-loaded, no-outs escape act in the sixth.

But the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) that was reconstructed when May had Tommy John surgery in May 2021 remained intact and “looks good,” according to a person familiar with May’s test results but not authorized to speak publicly about them.



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May, who returned from surgery last August and was off to a superb start this season, going 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his first eight starts, will receive a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, and he could be out until early July. But he should be able to pitch again this season.

“It’s a big blow, and I know he’s disappointed,” manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers won for the 15th time in 18 games. “My heart goes out to Dustin for what he’s had to go through. He’s been throwing the baseball well and feeling good. He’s a big part of this year, and he still could be, but right now, he’s hit a speed bump again.”

May gave up one hit in a scoreless first inning, striking out Joey Gallo with a 96-mph fastball and Carlos Correa with a 95-mph fastball, but the average velocity of his sinking fastball (94.7 mph) and four-seam fastball (95.4 mph) was down by 2 mph from their season averages of 96.7 mph and 97.4 mph, respectively.

Veteran right-hander Dylan Covey, who was activated before Wednesday’s game, entered to start the second inning as a dejected May grabbed his gear and headed to the clubhouse.

Dustin May injures elbow in Dodgers' win, expected to miss at least six weeks (2)

James Outman celebrates in the dugout after his grand slam in the seventh inning gave the Dodgers a 7-3 lead against the Minnesota Twins.

(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

“After that first inning, the velocity wasn’t there, you saw him kind of moving his hand, and those are signs that something’s not right,” Roberts said of May. “He was trying to lobby to stay in, but we had to do what was best for him and his career.”


May, 25, had looked so good that Roberts said it was “fair” to compare his start to Walker Buehler’s breakout year in 2018, when the then-23-year-old right-hander went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 24 games.

“As a starter, you’re kind of getting your feet wet and trying to figure yourself out, figure the league out,” Roberts said before the game. “Then there comes a point where there’s real confidence for a young player, and it’s not contrived. Right now, Dustin feels like when he takes the mound, he’s the best guy out there, and he’s gonna dominate. I think Walker felt that in his second or third year.”

May was placed on the injured list and will be replaced on the roster by reliever Justin Bruihl, who was optioned to triple-A before Wednesday’s game.

Dustin May injures elbow in Dodgers' win, expected to miss at least six weeks (3)


May will likely be replaced in the rotation by Gavin Stone, who made a spot start for the Dodgers on May 3 and is 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA in eight triple-A starts, or Covey, the 31-year-old journeyman who can’t be ruled out after keeping the Dodgers in Wednesday’s game with a four-inning, two-run, five-hit emergency relief effort.

Covey, a Dodgers fan who attended Maranatha High in Pasadena, spent the previous two seasons in Taiwan and hadn’t pitched in a major league game since 2020.

“I don’t really know what happened, but I was ready to go and just did my best to keep us in the game, and it worked out for us,” Covey said. “A couple of years ago, I didn’t think I’d be back in this situation, but it’s really special playing for the hometown team.”

Covey gave up solo homers to Byron Buxton in the fourth inning and Gallo in the sixth, the latter inning continuing with singles by Alex Kirilloff and Carlos Correa and a walk to Buxton to load the bases with no outs.


But Gonzalez replaced Covey and retired Jorge Polanco (popout to first), Donovan Solano (strikeout) and Kyle Farmer (fly to left) to keep the score tied 2-2 and extend his scoreless string to 11⅓ innings over 10 games since his April 22 recall from triple-A.


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“What Covey did was huge,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “And Victor Gonzalez getting out of that bases-loaded jam was a big key to the game.”

Minnesota took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on reliever Caleb Ferguson’s throwing error, but the Dodgers tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh on Miguel Vargas’ bases-loaded walk.

The struggling Outman then hammered Emilio Pagán’s first-pitch fastball over the center-field wall for his second grand slam of the season and a 7-3 lead.

“I’m excited we won a ballgame, won a series against a real good club,” Roberts said, “but I’m just thinking about Dustin right now.”

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  • Dodgers pitcher Emmet Sheehan has season-ending Tommy John surgery

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Dustin May injures elbow in Dodgers' win, expected to miss at least six weeks (2024)


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