Posted on August 31, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
After getting a reprieve for a couple of days, the Los Angeles Dodgers got the news they feared on Friday. The club has placed infielder Max Muncy on the 10-day Injured List after he was diagnosed with a small fracture in his right wrist. However, the Dodgers are optimistic that it will be a quick recovery for Muncy, believing he may only miss two weeks of action, giving him plenty of time to return before the postseason.
Muncy was hit on the right wrist by a pitching Wednesday while facing San Diego pitcher Matt Strahm. After the game he underwent a fluoroscopy exam that was negative. On Thursday, X-rays on Muncy’s wrist were also negative. However, a hand specialist recommended that Muncy have an MRI, which revealed a “small crack” in the wrist.
“It wasn’t good news, it wasn’t bad news,” Muncy said Friday. “Yes, there is something in there, but we’re not looking at a super long timetable. We’re hoping that it’s maybe just a week or two. At this point, it’s kind of just how the wrist responds to some treatment and once the inflammation and stuff gets out of there, then we can go from there.”
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Muncy has had a nice follow up to his breakout season in 2018. He’s currently hitting .253 with 33 home runs, helping him produce an OPS of .899. He already has more doubles and RBIs than last season and is two home runs shy of matching last year’s total. Muncy has also been flexible defensively based on where Los Angeles needs him. He’s already started more than 20 games at first base, third base, and second base.
The silver lining for the Dodgers is that they have several versatile infielders who can help fill the void for Muncy. The likes of Jedd Gyorko, Enrique Hernandez, and Chris Taylor can all play everywhere on the infield. Cody Bellinger and Matt Beaty are both options at first base. Also, rosters are set to expand to 28 on Sunday, at which point David Freese is expected to be activated. He will be an option at both corner infield positions. The Dodgers will struggle to replace Muncy’s power, but they do have coverage for him.
It also helps that the Dodgers are cruising to their seventh straight NL West title. The Dodgers hold an 18-game lead in the division with a magic number of nine. It’s possible that they could have the division wrapped up within the next week, making it a lot easier for them to be cautious and patient with Muncy’s injury.
“It’s one of those things where they felt that it’s not something that could get worse, it’s per his tolerance,” said Dodgers manager Roberts. “They felt that the swelling and stuff would be out, would dissipate, and he could get back to swinging the bat.”
Obviously, no wrist injury is a positive thing, especially for a player like Muncy who’s known for his power. But it appears that Muncy won’t have to miss more than a couple of weeks, ensuring he’s back for the playoffs. He will no doubt be an important figure for the Dodgers during the postseason. However, there’s every chance that Muncy will be healthy and available when October rolls around.