Muncy off NLCS roster: 'I've had better days'

October 16th, 2021

ATLANTA -- It was always a long shot, but the Dodgers will officially be without injured first baseman for the National League Championship Series against the Braves.

Los Angeles released its roster Saturday morning and left off Muncy, who hurt his left elbow on a play at first base in the Dodgers’ regular-season finale on Oct. 3.

“Not playing has been one of the worst things. I’ve had better days,” Muncy said. “It’s one of those things that it’s still really painful and you try and get through it and trying to see where we’re at. I’ve had better days.”

Earlier this week, manager Dave Roberts said there was a “small chance” Muncy would be available for the NLCS, but the first baseman is still sporting a large arm brace that he said he has to wear most of the day, including when he sleeps. The Dodgers have declined to reveal whether Muncy has done any baseball activities over the last two weeks.

Muncy said he’s “hopeful” that he can return for the World Series if the Dodgers reach that point. But given the Dodgers’ hesitancy to give any details on Muncy’s rehab, that remains to be seen.

In other roster news, after being included on the NL Division Series roster, left-hander David Price and outfielder Billy McKinney were left off the NLCS roster in favor of right-hander Evan Phillips and lefty Justin Bruihl.


: Barnes hasn’t made a start in the postseason and will likely continue to be the team’s backup catcher.

: Smith is the much better offensive option and one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. He slugged 25 homers in his first full season in the Majors. He has stepped up so far in the postseason, leading the team with two homers.


, 1B/OF: With Max Muncy sidelined by an injury, Beaty started the NL Wild Card Game and Game 1 of the NLDS at first base but came off the bench the rest of the series.

, 1B: Pujols did most of his work against left-handed pitching this season, and he went 2-for-2 against left-hander Alex Wood in Game 3 of the NLDS. With the Braves carrying left-hander Max Fried, Pujols could be an option at different points in this series.

, SS: Seager won the NL Championship Series and World Series MVP Awards last season. He hasn’t quite made the same impact this October, but he still has some time now that he’s facing the Braves.

, UTIL: Taylor has been producing much better at the plate in the postseason and has come up short on a pair of deep fly balls. He’ll be a big part of the Dodgers’ success in this series.

, 3B: Over his career, Turner has been one of the most accomplished postseason hitters in Dodgers history. But this year, he’s 2-for-24 with one homer in the playoffs.

, 2B: Turner won the batting title (.328 average) and is currently riding a career-high 19-game hitting streak. He’ll likely hit third in the Dodgers’ lineup, but he needs to get hot for the Dodgers to advance.


, OF/1B: Bellinger gives the Dodgers an elite defender in center field, but Los Angeles could continue to use him as a first baseman in order to keep Gavin Lux’s bat in the lineup. The former NL MVP Award winner hit .165 during the regular season, but he flushed all of that away with a clutch RBI single in the ninth inning of Thursday’s winner-take-all game against the Giants.

, OF: Betts is certainly past the hip issue that he dealt with throughout the regular season and is posting impressive numbers in the postseason. The former AL MVP Award winner was 11-for-24 with a homer in the Dodgers’ first six postseason games. 

, OF: Lux almost hit a game-tying homer in Game 3 against the Giants, but it was caught at the warning track. What that hard-contact did, however, was convince the Dodgers that he should be in the everyday lineup. He hasn’t disappointed. 

, OF: Pollock has struggled at the plate in the postseason and he lost playing time to Lux in the NLDS. But with the Braves carrying a couple of lefties, Pollock should get plenty of at-bats.

, OF: Souza has taken some solid at-bats in the postseason, particularly against left-handed pitching. He’s been on the team’s roster in all three postseason rounds.


, RHP: Bickford was claimed off waivers from the Brewers, and he has turned into one of the Dodgers’ most reliable relievers. He posted a 2.50 ERA in 56 appearances with Los Angeles.

, RHP: Buehler started Game 4 of the NLDS on short rest for the first time in his career, and he's set to start Game 3 of this one.

Justin Bruihl, LHP: Bruihl was left off of Los Angeles' NLDS roster, but with the Braves having a couple of dangerous left-handed bats, he’ll play a role this round.

, RHP: Gonsolin didn’t make an appearance in the NLDS against the Giants, but the right-hander will have to be a big part of the Dodgers’ pitching plans in the best-of-seven against the Braves. Gonsolin hasn’t pitched since Sept. 30 against the Padres.

, RHP: Graterol had a tough start to the season, but the right-hander has settled into a high-leverage relief role over the past few months. He’ll continue to be a late-game option for Roberts.

, RHP: Jansen has looked to prove that he’s still an elite closer, and he certainly accomplished that during the regular season. The organization's all-time saves leader finished with 38 this season, his most since 2018. He tossed a scoreless ninth against the Cardinals, earning the win in the NL Wild Card Game.

, RHP: Kelly opened the season on the injured list after undergoing right shoulder surgery, but he has bounced back to become one of the team’s best relievers this season. The right-hander recorded two huge outs in the fifth inning of Game 5 against the Cardinals, keeping the game tied.

, RHP: After battling injuries over the past few years, Knebel has made a successful return to the mound with the Dodgers. He was touching 97 mph in his outing in the NL Wild Card Game and made two scoreless appearances in the NLDS, including opening Game 5. He got the nod as an opener in Game 1 of the NLCS.

, RHP: Phillips wasn’t on the Dodgers’ NLDS roster, but makes it over David Price for this round. Phillips, who was claimed off waivers from the Rays, can give Los Angeles multiple innings out of the bullpen.

, RHP: Scherzer got a start against the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game, but he wasn’t necessarily sharp, allowing one run over 4 1/3 innings. He closed out Game 5 of the NLDS in San Francisco and is set to start Game 2 of the NLCS in Atlanta.

, RHP: Treinen was one of the most dominant relievers in the Majors during the regular season, and that has continued so far in the postseason. While Jansen is the team’s closer, Roberts and the Dodgers will continue to turn to Treinen to navigate through the toughest part of the Braves’ batting order.

, LHP: Urías did everything the Dodgers asked of him in the NLDS against the Giants. He tossed five scoreless innings in Game 2 as the starter and allowed one run over four innings as the bulk guy in the winner-take-all Game 5. He was MLB’s only 20-game winner this season. He's set to start Game 4 against the Braves.

, LHP: Since July 9, not many relievers have been as effective as Vesia. The left-hander had a 0.92 ERA in 31 regular-season appearances since returning to the club on July 9. If the Dodgers have a key situation against a lefty hitter, particularly Freddie Freeman, it could be Vesia on the mound.