The Dodgers were one of the big stories on Wednesday regarding the trade deadline, because they didn’t add any late-inning relievers as many expected them to. The bullpen really needs to get fixed before the playoffs or it’s possible the two-time defending National League champion Dodgers are upset before they can make it to a third straight World Series. Perhaps that help comes from their huge stash of starting pitching depth?
May is the No. 35-ranked prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. He’s only made five starts in Triple-A, but has pitched to a sparkling 2.30 ERA along with a 1.10 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. Keep in mind, the PCL league ERA is 5.51 with an average of 5.8 runs per team per game.
Now, back to how this is part of the relief solution. We just saw the Red Sox creatively use starters in relief to great postseason success and the Astros do some of that in 2017. The Dodgers have so much rotation depth they could flip some of those guys to the bullpen in October.
The playoff rotation in some order is 100 percent going to feature Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. The next group features Rich Hill (due back in September), Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling (due back in a few weeks), Julio Urias (currently working in relief) and now May.
Given the state of the relief pitching market and big names like Felipe Vazquez and Edwin Diaz being priced higher than the Dodgers wanted before the trade deadline, perhaps their thinking has shifted to the bullpen sorting itself out thanks in part to the group of starting pitchers listed above. They only need four starters in the playoffs, after all.
Stay tuned, but it’s possible the Dodgers didn’t have as bad a deadline as many of us have been saying.