Maybe Max Muncy’s elbow isn’t OK after all.
The struggling slugger finally conceded to an IL stint Saturday with what the Dodgers have deemed inflammation, but we know there’s more to the story. It all points back to the UCL tear he suffered on the final day of last season, a gruesome-looking injury that he never had surgery to correct. Because it happened to his non-throwing arm, it hasn’t hindered him in the field, as you might expect. But it is his top hand when he’s hitting, and the lack of power has been evident.
His average exit velocity last year was 91.2 mph. This year, it’s 87.3. Meanwhile, he’s batting .150 after batting .185 in spring training and generally looking nothing like the borderline MVP candidate he was for most of last year.
“Maybe like subconsciously, it’s been there,” Muncy said. “Maybe not quite getting through the ball like I’m used to. But it’s not something I’m thinking about. It just kind of happens. Like I said, I’m not going to use my elbow as an excuse. I haven’t been good. But maybe it’s there, maybe it’s not.”
The Dodgers don’t have a timetable for Muncy’s return, but manager Dave Roberts has suggested it might be only a couple weeks. At this point, you have to consider that a rosy outlook. Given Muncy’s track record, he’s worth stashing in the hopes a period of rest will get him right, but as these IL stash rankings show, he’s not as high of a priority as you might assume.
Note: Both Tim Anderson (strained groin) and Royce Lewis (bruised knee) seemed destined for the IL at time of publication. Anderson would rank fourth on this list and Lewis would rank 23rd.
Too valuable to drop, period
Also really difficult to drop
If you have to, you have to
Stashing is purely a luxury