Implications of Max Muncy’s Return to Active Roster

Several hours before the beginning of the series against the Mets in New York on Friday, the Dodgers added Max Muncy to their active roster, increasing the number of active players to 35.

The 29-year-old Muncy was sidelined with a right wrist fracture since August 29, missing a total of 14 games. Without the lefty slugger, the Los Angeles offense has been sporadic, to say the least.

Prior to the injury, Muncy appeared in 129 games for the Dodgers, hitting .253/.375/.575 with 19 doubles, 33 homers and 87 RBI. In two seasons with Los Angeles, he has tallied 68 homers and 168 RBI while slashing .258/.382/.552.

For the 2019 season, the left-handed hitting Muncy has featured a bit of a reverse split at the plate, although most of his power has come against opposing right-handers. Still, his productivity against opposing lefties and righties alike has made him an everyday lineup option for skipper Dave Roberts.

Against right-handed pitching this year, Muncy has slashed .248/.380/.520 with 22 homers. Against lefty pitching he has hit .264/.361/.535 with 11 long balls. His OPS against righties is .901 and is .896 against left-handers.

Over his career—parts of four different big league seasons—Muncy has hit .241/.366/.499 with 54 home runs against righty pitching. When facing opposing southpaws, he has slashed .258/.360/.524 with 19 homers.

Muncy’s return could conceivably have an effect on playing time for several players who may be on the bubble when it comes to receiving a postseason roster spot. Since being activated, rookies Gavin Lux and Matt Beaty have both been seeing regular playing time and may see their appearances decrease with Muncy’s return, at least while the Dodgers are battling the Braves for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

So far this year, Muncy has appeared in 67 games at second base, 55 games at first base and 29 games at third base.

Lux has made nine starts at the keystone, hitting  .241 (7-for-29) with two homers, a double and two RBI.

For the entirety of his 2019 campaign, Beaty has slashed .288/.377/.500 with 19 doubles, nine long balls and 46 RBI over 226 AB. In the field, Beaty has proven his versatility by making 33 appearances in left field, 32 at first base, three at third base, two appearances in right field and two as designated hitter.

If there’s one downfall to Beaty’s game, it his weakness against lefty pitching. For the year against southpaws, Beaty has gone just 4-for-32 with a double and three RBI.

Another indirect result of Muncy’s absence was the call-up of Edwin Rios before the opener against the Orioles on Tuesday. The main reason Rios was added, though, was to provide extra cover at third base due to Justin Turner‘s ailing ankle.

Still, without Muncy and outfielder Alex Verdugo‘s bats being available, the move to add another lefty hitter made sense.

Verdugo suffered a setback when was on a rehab assignment with short-season Ogden after landing on the injured list Aug. 6 with an oblique strain. With just 14 games left on the regular season schedule, Verdugo’s chances of being included on the postseason roster are extremely slim.

“I think each day that we don’t get him moving closer to playing, makes it more bleak,” Roberts said on Tuesday about Verdugo. “But we’re still hopeful. So I think the door’s still open but obviously each day that passes gets a little bit tougher.”

 

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Highlighting Several of September’s Potential Roster Battles

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(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Besides the discussions about how close the Dodgers and the Braves are for home-field advantage throughout the National league playoffs, one other hot topic gaining momentum is which players will be included on the Los Angeles NLDS roster to begin the postseason.

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Dodgers Expanded Roster: First Wave of Reinforcements Arrives in Arizona

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It isn’t an overwhelming number of players, but the first wave of September roster reinforcements has arrived in Arizona ahead of the series finale against the Diamondbacks on Sunday.

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Who to Expect When Rosters Expand on September 1

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Orlando Ramirez—USA TODAY Sports

Beginning in 2020, the rules will change as far as roster expansion goes in September. The new regulation will allow a club to carry just 28 players on its expanded roster as opposed to the full 40 permitted by today’s rules. This should make for some interesting conjecture, especially with the Dodgers, who annually like to give many regulars prescribed rest periods down the stretch run of the season.

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Dodgers Announce First Wave of Roster Additions

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The Dodgers on Saturday announced the first wave of their expanded roster, recalling infielder/catcher Kyle Farmer, infielder/outfielder Tim Locastro and outfielders Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo from Triple-A Oklahoma City, while activating infielder David Freese and right-handed pitcher Ryan Madson. Los Angeles also reinstated left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup and infielder Chase Utley from the 10-day disabled list.

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Dodgers Expanded Roster: So Far, No Bullpen Help from a Waiver Trade

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(Getty Images photo)

Considering that the Dodgers were unable to significantly upgrade their bullpen ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of July, many folks close to the club believed that a waiver trade was inevitable, especially after Kenley Jansen‘s stint on the disabled list and the inability of anybody else to successfully close out a game. Yet, with the waiver deadline arriving at the end of the week, there hasn’t been much noise indicating that the team is close to completing such a deal.

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Dodgers Promote Tim Locastro to Big League Roster

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

Heading into the final series of the regular season against the Rockies, the Dodgers on Friday afternoon selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Tim Locastro from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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The Dodgers Won’t Find Their Way Back to Winning by Looking Forward

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Our beloved Dodgers need to look back to July.

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Dodgers Roster: A Few More Thoughts About the Starting Rotation

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At this point last week, many followers of the Dodgers were beginning to show signs of concern for a major collapse in the standings, yet many close to the team who knew a little bit about mathematical probability simply shrugged off the slump as a common occurrence which could happen to any contending squad.

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There’s Still No Need for Panic, but This Is Getting Ugly Very Quickly

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“Are you nervous?” my husband asks me before the Dodgers game. “Not yet,” I reply. I rattle off a number of reasons why not, that this isn’t the batting order that worked so beautifully earlier in the season, that the pitchers who got demolished in Arizona did really well against the same team the second go-round, Kershaw is on the mound.

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