Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Max Muncy’s Impending Return Doesn’t Necessarily Mean the End of Michael Busch

Dodgers rookie Michael Busch was called up from Triple-A when Max Muncy went on the paternity list earlier this week. The Dodgers were running out of bats with everyone heading on paternity leave, and Busch was raking in Triple-A, slashing .337/.461/.506 in 83 at-bats.

Thus far, in three games at the big league level, Busch is 1-for-10 with an RBI single, a walk and five strikeouts. He’s played one game at DH and two at third base.

Many people assumed that when Muncy came back — he’s scheduled to rejoin the team in Los Angeles on Friday — Busch’s brief stint in the majors would come to an end. However, that may not be the case.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about it before Wednesday’s game, and made it sound like Busch could stay up a little bit longer, and not be the guy that gets sent down when Muncy returns.

“We’re gonna discuss all possibilities,” Roberts said. “Certainly with Mookie (Betts) being able to play anywhere in the infield, with CT (Chris Taylor), it opens some things up. We’re gonna get a good look at Michael the next couple days, as well as yesterday, and we’ll make that decision when we need to.”

Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register

That decision is going to need to be made soon, as Muncy is going to be back on Friday.

The Dodgers may be sending J.D. Martinez to the injured list, which could open a spot on the 26-man roster. However, they may also be activating Will Smith off the injured list.

If the Dodgers designated Austin Wynns for assignment, they’d be able to keep Busch up for a little longer — but then the Dodgers would need another roster spot in a few days when Miguel Rojas is expected to come off the injured list.

The Dodgers could opt to send Luke Williams down, which would then keep Busch around. However, if Martinez doesn’t go on the IL, Busch likely doesn’t have a long stay in his future.

Either way, it’s nice to hear Roberts speak highly of Busch, and hint at the fact that this could be a slightly longer stay than just a few days. He had even more praise for the rookie on Tuesday ahead of his first career start.

“He’s earned this promotion,” Roberts said. “And so when we had an opportunity to give him a little runway and opportunity, we wanted to let him know we see him and see what he’s done. You can talk as much as you want to the players about being part of the plan, but when they keep performing, it gets discouraging. When you have our ballclub, that’s kinda what guys signed into. But when we do have a chance to recognize performance, I think that’s fantastic.”

How Long is Busch Going to Stay?

If I had to make my prediction, I would say Busch is not going to be sent down when Muncy returns. It’s either going to be Williams, or it’s going to be Smith activated and Wynns DFA’d. Then, when Rojas returns, Busch would be the guy to be sent down — unless Martinez goes on the IL.

If Martinez goes on the IL, I think Busch is going to be around for the next week-plus, until J.D. is able to return. Talk about a lot of moving parts.

But either way, I don’t see Friday being Busch’s last day. I think he’ll at least last through Rojas’ return, and then the Dodgers will be out of guys to send down.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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