LOS ANGELES — With less than a week to go before the Dodgers’ postseason opener, Dustin May and Blake Treinen took significant steps forward Wednesday, throwing to hitters in a simulated-game situation.
May threw two simulated innings, facing Kevin Pillar, Trea Turner, James Outman and Miguel Vargas. Treinen faced Turner, Outman and Hanser Alberto.
“I thought they were good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Blake faced three hitters. I thought the slider was good. I didn’t see the velocity (on the radar gun) on it, but from my eyes, I thought it was good.
“As far as Dustin … I thought the ball was coming out well. It was a good day. We’re off to a good start.”
Treinen is expected to face hitters again Saturday during the Dodgers’ pre-Division Series workouts and May on Sunday.
“It started off pretty rocky, but at the end it kind of went a little better,” May said, reviewing his two simulated innings. “Body is feeling really good. Back is feeling a lot better.
“I mean, I’m ready. I’m ready for whatever.”
May went on the injured list 10 days ago with a strain to the lower left side of his back.
“It took probably six or seven days to get back to feeling kind of normal moving around,” May said. “It wasn’t slow but it wasn’t fast. Now I’m back to normal. Just got to get back in the swing.”
May’s command has been inconsistent since returning from Tommy John surgery, leading to 15 runs allowed in his last 19 innings before going on the IL. When talking about May’s status for the postseason recently, Roberts said, “You still have to be good. Talent alone doesn’t get it done. So he’s still got to get healthy and show us that it makes sense.”
In Treinen’s case, Roberts said the biggest question is how he bounces back after an outing.
“Obviously the utility, not only for one game, is important,” Roberts said.
NLDS GAME ONE
Roberts has hedged somewhat on who will start Game 1 of the NLDS for the Dodgers: Julio Urias or Clayton Kershaw?
With only one travel day during the series (between Games 2 and 3), the Game 1 starter can come back on four days of rest to pitch a potential Game 5.
“Just to give you a little peek behind the curtain, it’s more of who we feel is best to potentially come back on regular rest in Game 5,” Roberts said Wednesday. “It’s not opponent-driven, it’s certainly not talent-driven, it’s kind of where we feel puts us in the best spot. That’s all I’ll say about that.”
The Game 2 starter would be on short rest (three days off) for a Game 5 start or relief appearance.
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Utility man Chris Taylor began “baseball activities” Wednesday for the first time since receiving a cortisone injection to treat his stiff neck.
Roberts said he is confident Taylor will be ready for the NLDS when it starts Tuesday.
“Today feels better than yesterday and I’m hoping tomorrow he feels better than today,” Roberts said. “As we sit here right now, I expect him to be on the postseason roster.”