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No foot fracture for May, who is day to day

@kengurnick
September 12, 2020

Pitcher Dustin May did not suffer a fractured left foot when struck with a line drive on Thursday in Arizona, manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday, but he also didn’t say when May would make his next start, nor did he rule out the injured list. “There was no fracture.

Pitcher Dustin May did not suffer a fractured left foot when struck with a line drive on Thursday in Arizona, manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday, but he also didn’t say when May would make his next start, nor did he rule out the injured list.

“There was no fracture. Right now it seems like just a contusion,” Roberts said. “It’s sort of a day-to-day thing. We’re not going to make any decision as far as when he’s going to pitch, the IL situation right now. We still have some time before we make a decision.”

May was struck on the inside of the foot by Josh Rojas’ liner on the second pitch of the first inning. After a couple of warmup throws, May was allowed to remain in the game, threw several 99-mph fastballs and completed a scoreless 16-pitch inning. But he walked off the mound at the end of that inning favoring the foot and was removed after beginning warmups prior to the second inning.

“Now it’s up to us to get some of the swelling to subside, alleviate some of the discomfort for Dustin, and at that point it’s per his tolerance,” Roberts said.

Pitching through foot discomfort risks mechanical adjustments that can lead to arm injuries, so Roberts indicated that May won’t be rushed back. May wore a protective boot until Friday’s CT scan but is now walking without it.

“One part of it is his tolerance, but you also don’t want to compromise the delivery, which obviously would put the arm kind of at risk in some capacity,” Roberts said. “Making sure he can repeat his delivery and not compensate, that’s the thing. That’s why it’s day to day.”

May inherited the Opening Day start and a rotation spot with the early-season injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood and the absence of David Price. His early departure came on the same day the Dodgers placed starter Walker Buehler on the injured list for a second time for a blister on his right index finger.

Roberts is confident that Buehler and May will perform well in the postseason if they are healthy, even after missing starts in the two-week runup. Buehler has been playing catch with the blister covered. Roberts said that Tony Gonsolin, who allowed three runs in five innings of relief on Thursday, will start on Tuesday.

May was knocked out of a game in Arizona on Sept. 1, 2019, when a Jake Lamb liner struck him on the head. He didn’t miss a start and didn’t allow a run the rest of the month.

“I’m a ball magnet in Arizona on that field,” said May. “It’s weird. I haven’t had a clean inning there. They’re freak accidents. It’s baseball. It’s not like people are aiming to hit it at me. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles in Arizona for my starts. I’ve got to go out and do the same thing and hope for better results.”

Chase Field is also where Kenta Maeda was drilled on the leg by a Paul Goldschmidt liner on June 14, 2016. He also didn’t miss a start. Hiroki Kuroda wasn’t as lucky on Aug. 15, 2009, when a Rusty Ryal liner caromed off his head, went to the D-backs' on-deck circle and bounced into the stands. Kuroda missed three weeks, but after returning was bothered by a sore neck he believed was probably caused by the incident and ended the season with a disastrous postseason loss in Philadelphia.

• With a shortage of starting pitchers, the Dodgers need to go with a bullpen game on Sunday. Roberts said the opener would be decided based on bullpen usage on Saturday night. One candidate is rookie Victor Gonzalez, who pitched only one inning on Thursday night. Alex Wood is another.

• The Dodgers were expected to activate reliever Pedro Baez (strained right groin) from the IL before Saturday’s game and option reliever Josh Sborz to the alternate training site. Baez has been out since Aug. 9.

• Early next week is the "best-case scenario” for the return of Justin Turner (left hamstring), Roberts said.

• Reliever Joe Kelly, still serving his suspension, had a planned one-inning sim game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

• Joc Pederson was activated from the paternity list on Friday, and Matt Beaty was optioned.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.