Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Place Max Muncy on IL, Option James Outman in Massive Roster Change

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a huge roster move ahead of Friday’s game. The team has reinstated outfielder Jason Heyward from the injured list and recalled outfielder Miguel Vargas from Triple-A.

To make room on the active roster, outfielder James Outman was optioned and third baseman Max Muncy was placed on the injured list with an oblique strain.

The biggest news of this move is the demotion of Outman, the runner-up for last year’s National League Rookie of the Year award.

Outman, 27, has struggled in his second full season at the MLB level. The former seventh-round pick is slashing just .147/.250/.266 this season with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. He has 40 strikeouts, a .516 OPS, and a 48 OPS-plus (100 is league average).

Muncy is hitting .223 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs through his first 40 games. He was not in the Dodgers’ lineup for the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, and was conspicuously absent from the lineup against right-hander Graham Ashcraft on Friday. Kiké Hernandez is playing third base and hitting ninth for the Dodgers instead.

Outman is heading back down to Triple-A to refine his swing, while Muncy is heading to the injured list where a return to health will hopefully translate to a return to form in the batter’s box. He’s 1-for-25 over his last seven games. Muncy’s last extra-base hit was on May 7.

As for the corresponding moves, Heyward, 34, is finally back with Los Angeles after playing in just four games before going on the injured list this season. Heyward went 3-for-14, but was dealing with a back issue that took much longer to heal than initially expected.

As for Vargas, the 24-year-old gets called up for the first time this season and the first time since last July. The former top prospect hit .195/.305/.367 last season at the MLB level, but never got going after suffering a pinky injury in spring training.

Vargas has been thriving in Triple-A this year, slashing .295/.437/.583 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in. He’s transitioned to being a corner outfielder this year, and will look to provide a solid right-handed bat to the L.A. outfield.

Additionally, the Dodgers recalled right-handed relief pitcher Ricky Vanasco from Oklahoma City and optioned left-hander Nick Ramirez.

Veteran Chris Taylor, 33, is struggling even more than Outman and was speculated to be a candidate for the injured list if not being designated for assignment. He’s hitting .083 (5-for-60) with 30 strikeouts. He has a .295 OPS and a -12 OPS-plus, meaning he’s 112 percent worse than league average. However, for now, he’s remaining with the team.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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.


    05/17/2024 at 4:52 PM
    Dodgers MUST get a real shortstop. Bo Bichette in a trade perhaps. Like it or not, Mookie’s out of position…has No range to make great SS plays Plus, it’s a pressure position and too many errors can hurt his hitting ability! Outman cannot hit and needed to go. Muncy should be traded. He’s a mediocre 3rd baseman with no range or glove and can’t hit for average. Outside of some HR’s, that position truly needs an upgrade. Nolan Arenado would be a great get to replace him. Lux is another added weight to the Dodger team. He will NEVER hit, and can’t throw so if LA gets a true SS, Lux has to be traded. Mookie’s ok at second base.
    Roberts is next. He’s a serious potential issue. He broke LA’s winning streak momentum by pushing Glasnow back from his normal rest routine, and gave him an additional day vs SF. That backfired! First, if you can avoid it (and Roberts could’ve), you don’t throw a “bullpen” game on the road, especially with AAA pitchers! Next, you could see Glasnow was off his routine, and he pitched a sloppy, unacceptable game last night, so rest or not, he was not sharp.
    However, most importantly, and what Roberts doesn’t understand, is what it did. It created an interruption of winning another game against a beatable team; it created a loss against a weak, injured Giants team that was followed by an awful team game loss last night.
    “Mr. Rogers, Energizer Bunny, Scoutmaster Dave ” is NOT the guy to be managing high- end MLB star talent. Rather, Mr. Nice Guy MIS-MANAGES them!
    Message to the Dodgers front office. Either GET an experienced manager with fire, who “KNOWS” how to handle a pitching staff, and how to step on opponents’ necks to win games, or you will continue to fade in the post season!
    Players are getting paid to play…play them. And by the way, speaking of toughness and fire from a manager, e.g., Earl Weaver-Billy Martin, have you ever seen Roberts back &/or excite his players, and show some emotion bt getting into a heated argument with the umpires? Ever wonder how many games he’s been ejected from in his 8 years?
    BEWARE of the Roberts Factor, Dodger fans!

    1. Your assessment of Muncy and Lux are ridiculous. Fortunately neither Roberts or Friedman will take your flawed advice. Muncy has been spectacular at 3rd this season. What games are you watching?? Get rid of Roberts? Actually there are some Dodger fans that make my eyes roll. You are one of them.

    2. I agree on the shortstop and Roberts. He does not manage the pitching staff well especially during playoff time. Wish the Dodgers kept Seager. They need a top notch SS. Mookie belongs in right field. Mookie wanted to play shortstop and as long as he hits he will get his way. Lux is not panning out and is not hitting. Think he should be traded. A trade might do him good. The pressure of playing in LA seems too hard for him. Taylor is batting .083. How many players stay on a MBLroster batting that low? Roberts likes to stay with Veterans but it’s time to change things up and find a good hitting shortstop. Outman was having a lot struggles and he needs to find his swing. Sending him to the minors was their right thing to do. As long as Ohtani likes Roberts he will stay. I like the idea of Arenado but he is getting a bit older and is on the down side of the bell curve. Let see how Vargas does this time with the big club. He is hitting well in the minors.

    3. You are right on the button with all of these suggestions. I would also add that the Dodgers need to trade for a backup catcher who can hit at least 275. Austin Barnes drags the team down every five days. Why on earth is Taylor still with the Dodgers? Get rid of him and Roberts, the worst player and the worst manager in the majors. Taylor is there only because Roberts wants him.

      1. They chose to go. LA tried to keep them. Playing in Los Angeles isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Fuck em.

    4. I agree with your Roberts accessment. I still lay the 2017 loss in the WS directly on him. Terrible pitching management. However, unless he flips out, he’s not going anywhere. Besides, Bruce Boches don’t grow on trees. Your reference to those old times managers is waaàay dated. Move on.

  2. I agree with your analysis totally! Muncy hasn’t hit for average since his injury a few years back. Every time they try to protect a player with rest or more time in between starts they get hurt anyway

  3. Do you really believe that Roberts decides when the starting pitchers pitch? The FO decides how much rest the starters get.
    The decision on Outman was correct. The decision to bring up Vargas is correct, but how much playing time will he get other than when there is an opposing lefty starter (20% of the time), and he goes to left field and Teoscar goes to right field in place of Heyward? They must see something in Barnes we don’t see (game planning?). They may wait for one of the many catching prospects in the minors to come up, years from now. Yes, somehow replacing Lux would be good, (OPS .523, although he likely will hit better over time – he did miss an entire year), either with a shortstop, moving Mookie back to 2d base, or moving Muncy to 2b and getting a slugging 3d baseman. Is Bichette hitting? No, OPS 591. Is Muncy’s OPS better than average? Yes, .798. Is Muncy’s improved defense adequate? Yes. Is Betts’ defense at shortstop adequate? Yes. Great? No. So, at the trading deadline, maybe they get an infielder who can hit. Chris Taylor? Candidate for DFA sometime later this year. Should a team with this payroll be scoring significantly more runs? YES. The bottom third of the lineup has been killing the team. Heyward, Vargas may help a little. No more at bats for Chris Taylor. Pages may help a little. Lux needs to go.

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