After tying a franchise record with 106 wins during the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Game and at minimum take the San Francisco Giants to Game 5 in the National League Division Series.
All three of the club’s postseason wins thus far have come without Max Muncy, who sustained a dislocated left elbow during the final game of the regular season.
The 31-year-old fortunately will not need to undergo surgery as scans ruled out a potential ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear. Muncy instead will keep his elbow immobilized for the next few weeks and remains hopeful of getting back on the field at some point.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that Muncy is making progress but doesn’t expect him to return to the lineup for a potential NL Championship Series matchup against the Atlanta Braves, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
“But every day I talk to him he says he feels better. So – better isn’t worse,” Roberts said. There are no plans “that I know of” for Muncy to try swinging a bat in the next few days, Roberts said. But the Dodgers are still not ready to rule Muncy out for the NL Championship Series if they advance that far.
“I don’t want to say out for sure because there’s still a chance,” Roberts said of Muncy’s unlikely availability in the next round. “It’s still very small.”
With Muncy sidelined, the Dodgers have used a combination of Matt Beaty, Cody Bellinger and Albert Pujols to fill the void at first base.
Beaty and Pujols received starts in Games 1 and 3 of the NLDS, respectively, while Bellinger was penciled into the position for Games 2 and 4.
Dodgers confident they can get by without Muncy
Muncy arguably was the Dodgers’ most productive hitter this season as he led the team in several categories. While his absence hasn’t gone unnoticed, the Dodgers are confident they can make do with their current group of players.
“Obviously, he’s the cornerstone of our offense. The at-bat quality, we’re certainly going to miss,” Justin Turner said last week.
“But we still have a pretty dynamic lineup, and I think the best way to look at it is an opportunity for someone else to step up and take it. I feel terrible for him and what happened. Obviously he was prepared to be a big part of this postseason run we were going to have, but he’s already texted all the guys.
“He’s going to be right there doing everything he can to help us win, whether it’s cheerleading or hanging around the cage or whatever. He’s still in it with us, and that won’t be lost on us.”
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