May gives Dodgers a 6-man rotation, for now

August 24th, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Rookie Dustin May will be a starting pitcher again on Monday when the Dodgers open a three-game series in San Diego.

May will give the Dodgers a six-man rotation temporarily as they ration innings during a stretch of 16 consecutive days of action. Because of that, May could make another start the following Sunday, before the club resumes its experiment of trying him out as a reliever for the postseason.

The 21-year-old, ranked as the organization’s No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, started in his first three MLB games, going 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA.

The bullpen experiment debuted on Sunday in Atlanta, but May allowed a grand slam to Rafael Ortega in a 5-3 loss. Although May has been seen almost exclusively as a starting pitcher during his meteoric arrival, the Dodgers see him as a potential late-innings weapon this October while dealing with the inconsistency of closer Kenley Jansen.

May threw a side session on Friday, as did Ross Stripling, who is expected to return from the injured list Sept. 1 in a long-relief role.

Manager Dave Roberts said May would provide the rest of the starting pitchers an extra day of rest with no other change in the order. That would mean Walker Buehler and Kenta Maeda would also start in San Diego before the club moves on to Arizona.

Dodgers gear up for Players' Weekend

Roberts was asked what he thought about the black-and-white uniforms being used during Players’ Weekend.

“J.T.’s got the custom belt, the shoes with the kids,” said Roberts. “It’s a clean look. But I expect a dozen guys being dirty. I think it’s great for the game.”

Roberts said his favorite nickname for one of his players is Kristopher Negron’s “Negon James.” Roberts said his nickname, “Doc,” was chosen for him. Roberts became known as “Doc” as a player because of the initials of his name -- D.R. -- or Dr., as in doctor.