Dustin May's Elbow Injury Should Terrify the Dodgers

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Dodgers
Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed righty Dustin May on the IL Thursday due to pain in his right elbow. That's the same elbow he had Tommy John surgery on back in May of 2021. He missed most of the 2021 and 2022 seasons as a result. After 15 appearances between 2022 and this season, his arm is injured again. The Dodgers should be very worried.

While LA says the injury is just a right forearm strain -- specifically to the flexor pronator, there has to be a ton of concern. May will be sidelined at least a month but it could be longer. Given that Walker Buehler is already on the shelf recovering from Tommy John surgery, losing May could be devastating to the Dodgers.

May was dominant in nine starts this season. He was 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 48 innings. The 25-year-old is 6-foot-6 and has absolutely devastating stuff. The movement he generates on his mid-90s 2-seam fastball is incredible. Pairing that with an upper-90s fastball, cutter, curve and changeup, he can be almost impossible to hit.

I mean, look at some of these pitches:

Those are just unhittable.

The problem, of course, is that May puts a ton of torque on his arm by throwing that hard. His three-quarters delivery likely doesn't help things. Most guys who throw that hard with the whip-action May employs will eventually get injured. It's similar to Stephen Strasburg. He was an elite pitcher when healthy, but when you looked at his delivery you just knew eventually he'd run into problems. And he did.

The fact that May's elbow keeps getting hurt is a major concern for the Dodgers. It means something in his delivery is causing issues to the area. Obviously you don't want to change a guy's windup after he's in the big leagues -- it's really hard to do that anyway -- but May might have to tweak some things if he wants a long career.

Maybe May returns later this season, hops back on the mound, dominates and never has another arm issue. But I'm not sure anyone around MLB really believes he'll remain healthy after two elbow injuries back-to-back.