Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dustin May, who left his last start prematurely with significantly reduced velocity, has a damaged UCL, per Jon Morosi on Twitter. Morosi says that a decision on how to proceed will be made in the next 24 hours.
This is very bad news for the Dodgers — May, a 23 year old righthander who has been outstanding in his brief major league career, will presumably be sidelined for a significant period of time however the player and team opt to proceed. While all pitchers’ UCLs will generally have some wear and tear just as a matter of course, the significant drop in velocity and the fact that it is being reported as UCL damage suggests that this is something much more meaningful.
Worst case scenario would be Tommy John surgery, which would put May on the shelf until the middle of next season. At the end of February, Mike Petriello wrote about which pitchers had the most similar pitch to certain dominant pitches by well known pitchers, and one of the things he looked at was, who has the most similar fastball to Dustin May? The #1 pitcher on the list was Jonathan Hernandez, the Texas Rangers reliever who had Tommy John surgery earlier this year. Hopefully the same won’t be necessary for May.
UPDATE — The Dodgers say May will undergo UCL reconstruction surgery on May 11.