LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielder Max Muncy, who felt his left thigh grab coming out of the batter’s box on Friday night, was held out of the starting lineup on Saturday night against the Rockies, but manager Dave Roberts said the slugger was “playable” off the bench and expected to start on Sunday.
Muncy said if this were the playoffs, he wouldn’t miss time. He said he believed he protected the injury as soon as he felt it, but he felt no prior symptoms.
Muncy, who returned on Sept. 13 after two weeks on the shelf with a fractured right wrist, drove in three runs with a 2-for-5 performance Friday. He is 4-for-25 since returning. Muncy has 33 home runs this year, but none in his past 13 starts dating to Aug. 21.
• Roberts said rookie Will Smith will catch Hyun-Jin Ryu on Sunday, despite a dramatic discrepancy in ERA depending on which catcher handles the lefty. Ryu’s ERA with Russell Martin behind the plate this year is 1.60. With Smith, it’s 5.81. With Austin Barnes, it’s 2.08.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily fighting the numbers,” said Roberts. “Yes, the numbers are important. But there’s other things: continuing to increase the familiarity. ... pitch execution, there’s umpires. There’s a lot of things. I just think it makes the most sense to get Walker [Buehler] with Russell and also to get Will another opportunity to get with Hyun-Jin and see how they fare. Hyun-Jin will say himself, if he’s on, it doesn’t matter who’s catching.”
• Roberts said the vague lower body issues reliever Joe Kelly is dealing with will continue to limit his usage until the postseason.
“He feels he can go out there and pitch, but just doesn’t feel great with his body,” said Roberts. “We’re going to just continue to stay away from him; the main thing is for him to be ready for Game 1 of the postseason. With his track record, I can trust that. He’s got to feel confident and healthy and right now he’s just not there.”