So I was reviewing the news, looking at how teams were prepping their starters, and wracking my head over depth charts. 2020 the year and 2020 Fantasy Baseball is a rabbit hole. And finding quality innings from pitchers is the wonderland within. So far, several teams have indicated that at least the first week or two they intend on letting their starters only throw 3-4 innings: Giants, Cardinals, Mets, and Rockies to name a few. Yankees have said they’re limiting starters to 60ish pitches to begin. Wheeeeeee! Common sense doesn’t really work here. You’re mad. I’m mad. We’re all mad here… What? How do I know you’re mad? You must be, or you wouldn’t be here. And here isn’t really anywhere, that is of course, if not being anywhere is nowhere… unless nowhere is still somewhere. Somewhere then is surely anywhere. And that’s pitching in 2020.
Dodgers are likely to hold back their starters at the outset as well, yet, there’s still some promise. Maeda got shipped off to Minnesota. David Price has opted out for the season. Jimmy Nelson has opted for back surgery and will miss the season as well. It’s mad I tell you! I’m waiting to hear from Simone that her best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Walker pass out at 31 flavors from COVID because he wasn’t wearing a mask. But that’s obviously just hearsay. That leaves Dustin May and Ross Stripling to occupy the 5th rotation spot. So who will it be? My love for Stripling knows no bounds, seeing as I wrote a Ross Stripling sleeper back when we thought there was an Angels deal in place for him. Alas, thanks to Moreno’s impatience, that did not come to pass. Then enter the 60-game season with regional divisions and if the Dodgers give him the nod it will virtually be the same schedule. The Dodgers, though, seem to prefer him in the flex role and I feel that he will likely be reserved for a super middle reliever role making it Dustin May’s unbirthday party. Yes, either way I got you covered. And if you don’t know your way, anyway will take you there.
So what can we expect from Dustin May in this warped reality of a 2020 season? Prospect Itch had this to say about him in the (first) offseason, “Dustin May pitches for the Dodgers and throws a 98 mile-per-hour heater from hell that means to go back home even if it has to dig through half the planet. May is Thor throwing sinkers. Not Mets Thor. Not Hemsworth Thor. Actual. Bleeping. Thor. Not really. That would be ludicrous. May does limit home runs though. BECAUSE HE THROWS ACTUAL LIGHTNING!!” Well, I think Itch is a fan. Let’s review his 2019:
|AA + AAA||9.28||2.45||0.42||3.37||1.13||3.27|
So his brief MLB debut was pretty close in line with his minor numbers from last year. The best part of his stat lines is he doesn’t walk anyone, doesn’t give up many HRs, and he averages close to 1 K an inning with a low WHIP. On the Dodgers, May could cruise to some easy wins while controlling the game tempo and being an asset for pitching ratios. In a season where anything can happen to your pitching staff, having a cheap SP that you know will limit home runs is a real advantage. When a couple meltdown games can tank your ERA/WHIP, stingy pitchers that avoid the big inning is a good way to minimize your risk. After all, if they can’t get on base and can’t hit home runs, they can’t score. If they did so, they might; and if it were so, they could; but as it isn’t, they won’t. That’s logic.
Basically, he has 4 pitches, and he relies primarily on a high-velocity Sinker. The Cutter appears to be his outpitch as it gets a rather large whiff percent and highly suppressed average as well as his key pitch for generating groundballs, 44% in 2019; though, he averaged 50%+ in the minors. If he can generate similar GB numbers this coming season while keeping batters off-balance with the Cutter, he might be able to improve on last season’s cup of coffee.
With a wild season ahead of us that is hard to predict, a highly touted young gun that controls the bases could tilt things in your favor at a cheap cost. Other top prospects have a few hurdles to get over. Best case, Pearson and Gore are likely to miss at least the first week or two so that their teams can keep them under control for an additional year. Whereas, thanks for the space being cleared, May is now poised to receive the nod to take the mound in the first week in such a wonderland as this. But what do we know anyway?
This season is nonsense. Nothing will be what it is, because everything is what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it isn’t. And what it wouldn’t be, it will be. Don’t you see? The top pitchers could be what usually aren’t. Prospects that don’t have a book could have an edge. That that they don’t know, we know, they know not. Which is say, quite the advantage in race, wouldn’t you say?