JUNE 13: Manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Juan Toribio of MLB.com) the Dodgers are hopeful Muncy will be able to return after a minimal 10-day IL stint, but cautioned that the team won’t rush him back before he’s ready.
JUNE 12: The Dodgers have placed infielder Max Muncy on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique strain, the team announced. Outfielder Luke Raley has been called up from Triple-A to fill Muncy’s spot on the active roster.
Muncy hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the Dodgers’ 12-1 win over the Rangers on Friday, but he was replaced at first base by Albert Pujols for the start of the second inning. The home run was Muncy’s team-leading 14th of the season, continuing an outstanding season that has seen Muncy hit .264/.418/.528 with a league-best 46 walks.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they’ll now be without this productive bat for at least the next 10 days, and potentially quite a few more if Muncy has suffered anything beyond a minimal strain. Muncy has also been bothered by a sore ankle in recent days, so it’s possible that even if his oblique problem is a minor one, the Dodgers might give Muncy beyond the 10-day minimum just to get him fully healed up and ready to go. Muncy was scheduled to undergo more tests on his oblique today but the team has yet to release any update on the severity of the injury or any sort of recovery timeline.
With Muncy out, Pujols and Matt Beaty could now serve as a righty/lefty platoon at first base. Beaty has been a productive part-timer in his three seasons with L.A., and Pujols moving into a semi-starting role for the World Series champions represents quite a turn-around for the future Hall-of-Famer over the last month. It seemed as if Pujols’ career might have been over after the Angels cut him loose in May, but since signing with the Dodgers, Pujols has hit .268/.317/.571 with five home runs over 60 PA.
If Muncy’s injury wasn’t enough, Cody Bellinger also left Friday’s game due to left hamstring tightness. Bellinger’s issue doesn’t seem to be as serious, since manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com’s Juan Toribio and other reporters that Bellinger could potentially be back in action by Sunday.