The Los Angeles Dodgers received a major reinforcement prior to the series finale against the Chicago White Sox as Max Muncy was activated off of the 10-day injured list.
Muncy had been sidelined since May 28 after a disappointing stretch and some questions regarding the health of his left elbow. The dislocation and torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) suffered on the final day of the regular season last year still appeared to be bothering him in some regard.
Muncy then aggravated the elbow during a road game against the Washington Nationals, which prompted the IL stint and an eventual rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Muncy used his IL stint to not only rest his elbow, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts relayed he also worked on swing mechanics with assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“All I can go by is that (assistant hitting coach) Aaron Bates is with him right now and they’ve been working on some things mechanically. The main thing is we wanted him to feel good mechanically, feel good physically and discount the results. Certainly, they matter – they don’t matter as much there – but talking to Aaron and talking to Max, they both feel confident. But if you layer on getting a few more hits certainly would be better. But I’m going to trust those two guys feel good about where he’s at and he’s ready to come back.”
Prior to landing on the IL, Muncy struggled to the tune of a .150/.327/.263 batting line with three home runs and 14 RBI in 41 games. Muncy admitted he was hoping time spent on the IL would help the elbow quiet down and also provide him with a mental reset.
Over four games with the OKC Dodgers, Muncy went 2-for-14 with a home run, two RBI and three walks. On Saturday, manager Dave Roberts said the focus was on Muncy’s process and health.
Muncy may not recover from torn UCL until 2023
Muncy recently admitted it could be another year before he is fully recovered from the torn UCL in his left elbow.
“We knew the day it happened that it was torn, so we had to keep it immobilized for several weeks with a brace on it. After that it was breaking up the scar tissue that was in there and going from there. It took a while,” Muncy said.
“I didn’t start swinging until mid-January, and even then it was still really stiff. I don’t know if painful is the word, but it didn’t feel right.
“We’re still there right now but we’re able to get through some swings and get closer to normal. We’re definitely not there, but it’s one of those injuries that I may not be back to normal until next year. Who knows?”
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