Chris Taylor turned an excellent first half of the 2021 season into his first career All-Star Game selection but struggled as the regular season wound to a close while dealing with multiple injuries.
Taylor played through a pinched nerve in his neck for the bulk of September and saw his production drop. He did manage to get back on track and emerged as one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ better hitters in the postseason.
That’s despite Taylor also battling through elbow pain for most of the second half. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed the 31-year-old underwent surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips during the offseason.
Taylor noted his elbow pain was at its worst in the morning but didn’t affect him during games, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It was something that, like by the time the game started I didn’t notice it,” Taylor said. “It was more so just working up to the game and getting it loose. In the mornings would be the worst, when it’s stiff when I wake up. But by the time the game started, it didn’t affect my play or anything like that.”
Taylor also confirmed he is feeling fully recovered and should be ready for Opening Day:
“I’m 100%. It’s just like working back to the endurance part,” he said. “It’s nice to wake up in the morning and not have this tightness in my bicep and forearm.”
Taylor hit .254/.344/.438 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs, 73 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 582 plate appearances last season (148 games). He spent the MLB lockout recovering from his elbow procedure and did not begin swinging a bat until January.
In addition to earning his first All-Star selection, Taylor was the recipient of the Dodgers’ 2021 Heart & Hustle Award and the 16th Roy Campanella Award. The honor is given annually to one player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.
Taylor: Signing 4-year contract extension with Dodgers ‘meant a lot’
Prior to the MLB lockout, the Dodgers re-signed Chris Taylor to a four-year, $60 million contract with a $12 million team option for the 2026 season. He appreciated the length of the deal and finalizing it before free agency was halted.
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