Dustin May, a rookie with floppy red hair that teammates and coaches refer to either as “Code Red” or “Gingergaard”, made his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a starting pitcher against the San Diego Padres.
May, 21, is 6-foot-6 and barely 200 pounds. He spent a month in AAA before the Dodgers called him up to the show. The Dodgers placed starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu on the IL and had an open spot for May.
May has command of several pitches including a fastball with ridiculous movement and an exploding sinker. The LA Dodgers will consider using the rookie out of the bullpen when Ryu returns. Of course, this all depends on whether or not May can hold his own in the big leagues.
His teammates nicknamed the rookie “Gingergaard” because the redhead sports long hair like NY Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. At times his mane covered his surname on the back of his jersey.
WHO IS DUSTIN MAY?
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Nickname: Code Red, Gingergaard
Position: Pitcher (R)
Draft: Third Round, 2016 MLB Draft
The Dodgers selected May out of high school from Northwest High School in Justin, Texas. May quickly progressed through the Dodgers organization. Last season, May decimated the California League. This season, May and his flowing red hair crushed the Texas League for AA Tulsa. The Dodgers promoted him to AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers where he went 3-0 in 5 starts with a 2.30 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
Manager Dave Roberts did not waste any time and inserted May into the lineup against the San Diego Padres.
May looked like a seasoned pro on the mound under the bright lights of Dodger Stadium. Through his first five innings in the show, he scattered a couple of hits and only allowed one earned run.
However, the wheels came off the bus in the sixth inning. The Padres made the rookie pay during his third time through the line up.
“I just left some pitches up, they hit them,” May said. “They weren’t down like they were earlier in the game. They hit the mistakes. Just got to improve.”
“It was fun to see him keep his composure throughout that start,” said LA Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I thought the sinker was really good. I know he was excited.”
Roberts yanked May after 5.2 innings. In his debut, May allowed 9 hits and 3 earned runs with three strikeouts.
“It’s one of those dreams come true,” said May. “It was surreal, an exciting feeling.”
Hollywood (Baseball) Stars
The LA Dodgers got lucky with another rookie. The Dodgers have plenty of other young stars including catcher Will Smith (24), hurler Walker Buehler (25), speedy outfielder Alex Verdugo (23), and slugger Cody Bellinger (24).
On the night that May recorded his first loss, Bellinger made Dodgers history. Bellinger smacked his 36th home run of the season that also marked the 100th of his career. Bellinger at 24-years old became the fastest member of the Dodgers to hit 100 home runs. Catcher Mike Piazza previously held the mark when he crushed his 100th dinger in his 423rd game with the Dodgers. Bellinger hit his 100th homer in only 401 games.
Any lively arm is going to draw the attraction of other ballclubs. May got his name mentioned in multiple trade rumors over the last two seasons. But the better he got, the more the Dodgers wanted to hold onto the red hair pitcher
May is very similar in that regard to Deivi Garcia on the NY Yankees. GM Brian Cashman got heat for not delivering a starting pitcher to the Bronx before the trade deadline. However, every possible trade partner asked for Deivi Garcia. Cashman made sure that his top young arm was off limits.