May, 24, has finished his long journey back from Tommy John surgery. It was reported earlier this week that the club was planning to reinstate May to take the hill today. He will jump back into a rotation that certainly has its strengths but also has its concerns. Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson are all having great seasons, but Walker Buehler is done for the season. Clayton Kershaw is also on the IL, currently working his way back. Andrew Heaney is currently with the club but has only made eight starts on the year between various IL stints.
As for Moronta, 29, he had a tremendous showing with the Giants in 2018 and 2019 but has faced adversity in the subsequent seasons. Over that ’18-’19 stretch, he threw 121 2/3 innings with a 2.66 ERA and 29.3% strikeout rate. That also came with a high 13.8% walk rate, though it was still a very encouraging breakout, with Moronta racking up 27 holds in that stretch.
Since then, shoulder surgery kept him from appearing in the 2020 season before a flexor strain limited him to just four innings last year. He was outrighted by the Giants and elected free agency, signing with the Dodgers on a minor league with a $1.5MM guarantee if he made the active roster.
Moronta did indeed crack the roster, getting selected towards the end of April. Since then, he’s thrown 23 2/3 innings for the Dodgers, though he hasn’t quite returned to his previous form. Through 23 2/3 innings, he has a 4.18 ERA. He’s still getting strikeouts at a healthy 27.6% clip, but is also still giving out walks at a 10.2% rate. The key difference might be the long ball, however, as Moronta has allow five this season after only allowing eight over that two-year stretch with the Giants.
Despite that increase in homers, Moronta could find plenty of interest on the waiver wire, given that he still has the ability to set down batters on strikes. He’s still owed roughly $370K for the remainder of the season, not a huge sum by MLB standards. He could also be retained into the future for any team that believed in him. He came into this year with exactly four years of MLB service time but wasn’t called up until a few weeks into the season. That means he could be retained via arbitration for another two seasons by any club that wanted to give him a shot. Since the trade deadline has now passed, the Dodgers will have no choice but to put him on outright waivers or release waivers in the coming days.