The Dodgers have made it through their first two rounds of the postseason without the services of Max Muncy. The slugger was injured in a collision at first base on the final game of the regular season. Since then, he’s been rehabbing a dislocated elbow with an eye on a return deeper into October.
So, what’s the latest?
On Friday, Dave Roberts provided what bits of update he had on Max.
“If he feels he can do something at any point in the series, then it’s something we have to consider. … Still unlikely. But we’re holding out hope as much as we can.”
On the positive side of things, his absence has allowed others to step up at the position. Cody Bellinger, of course, has several key hits this postseason, including the game winner on Thursday night. Albert Pujols was productive in his lone start so far, going 2-2 in NLDS game 3 at Dodger Stadium.
But no one can match the production of a guy that led the team in home runs and runs batted in this season.
Now, approaching the two week mark on the sidelines, Muncy and the Dodgers could be keeping the All-Star’s progress low key as a form of gamesmanship. Notably, LA president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman mentioned Muncy had been “moving around and doing something.”
So when will he be back?
“It’s more of the training staff feeling like he’s able to swing a bat. I think we’re going through that exercise, I’m not sure,” Dave Roberts said. “I think for me, just trying not to put pressure on Max, because he’ll do anything for the ballclub, even if it’s to his detriment. I’m just waiting for the green light from the medical staff.”
With or without Max Muncy, the Dodgers open the NLCS tonight in Atlanta. As of publishing time, Dave Roberts has yet to name a start for game 1. The Braves already announced left-hander Max Fried would take the mound for the home team.