With Max Muncy injuring his left arm/elbow against the Milwaukee Brewers on the final day of the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost one of their best hitters for the playoffs.
At the time, Muncy said he suffered a dislocated left elbow and “other damage” as a result of the collision with Jace Peterson, but hoped he could return later in the postseason if the team advanced.
However, Muncy recently revealed the extent of the damage goes even further than originally indicated, now pointing out he actually tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left elbow, which comes with a lengthy recovery process.
Nevertheless, the Dodgers do think Muncy will get back to full health by Opening Day of the 2022 season, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Playing in the postseason was never a realistic possibility, but the Dodgers believe he will be ready for the start of the 2022 season.
Muncy is coming off another strong season where he hit .249/.368/.527 with 36 home runs, a 140 wRC+ and 4.9 WAR in 144 games played.
L.A. will need him to continue to produce at a high level moving forward, especially if they are unable to acquire another star bat to help replace Corey Seager.
What if Muncy doesn’t recover in time for 2022?
It is encouraging news that Muncy should be ready by the start of next year, but recovering from injuries is hardly ever a straightforward process.
If Muncy has a setback and is not able to play on Opening Day, the Dodgers have a few options to play first base in Cody Bellinger, Matt Beaty and possibly Edwin Rios, depending on how his recovery is going.
They could also sign Freddie Freeman to take over the position full time and help replace the production lost by Seager signing with the Texas Rangers.
Signing Freeman would move Muncy to second base when he is ready to take the field, whether it is Opening Day or later in the season.
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