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Dodgers place Muncy on IL with wrist fracture

Infielder hopeful he will only miss a couple of weeks
@JakeDRill
August 30, 2019

PHOENIX -- The news on Max Muncy’s wrist went from “positive” to what the Dodgers infielder described as “average.” An MRI on Muncy’s right wrist revealed a small fracture that wasn’t seen during Wednesday’s fluoroscopy exam or Thursday’s X-rays, which led to the Dodgers placing him on the 10-day injured

PHOENIX -- The news on Max Muncy’s wrist went from “positive” to what the Dodgers infielder described as “average.”

An MRI on Muncy’s right wrist revealed a small fracture that wasn’t seen during Wednesday’s fluoroscopy exam or Thursday’s X-rays, which led to the Dodgers placing him on the 10-day injured list on Friday. Muncy is optimistic that he won’t be out more than two weeks.

“It wasn’t good news, it wasn’t bad news,” Muncy said. “Yes, there is something in there, but we’re not looking at a super long timetable. We’re hoping that it’s maybe just a week or two. At this point, it’s kind of just how the wrist responds to some treatment and once the inflammation and stuff gets out of there, then we can go from there.”

On Thursday, Muncy met with hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan ahead of the Dodgers’ opener vs. the D-backs at Chase Field. Within seconds of looking at Muncy’s wrist, Sheridan decided he wanted Muncy to undergo an MRI, which showed what Muncy described as a “small crack.”

Muncy sustained the injury during Wednesday night’s win in San Diego when he was hit on the wrist by a pitch from the Padres’ Matt Strahm.

After it appeared Thursday that Muncy may have avoided a fracture, he said it was disappointing to learn the MRI results.

“I was pretty upset, but there isn’t really anything you can do about it,” Muncy said. “You can either take the news and move on, or you get upset and make things worse. I just try to take it and move on, cheer the guys on.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the training staff believes that Muncy will be back in Los Angeles’ lineup within two weeks, which “gives him ample time to get ready for the postseason.”

“It’s one of those things where they felt that it’s not something that could get worse, it’s per his tolerance,” Roberts said. “And they felt that the swelling and stuff would be out, would dissipate, and he could get back to swinging the bat.”

Muncy is having a strong season, batting .253/.375/.525 with 33 home runs and 87 RBIs in 129 games while being named an All-Star for the first time.

With Muncy going on the IL, the Dodgers activated utility man Kristopher Negrón from the injured list. Negron, who had been on the IL with neck stiffness since Aug. 20, batted .268/.318/.415 with two homers and seven RBIs in his first 15 games after being traded from Seattle to Los Angeles on July 29.

Sunday starter still TBD

Roberts didn’t reveal who would start Sunday vs. the D-backs in the finale of the four-game series.

Right-hander Dustin May, the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, won’t start, but he will likely pitch in relief. May is 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA in five games (four starts), with his last appearance being a start at San Diego on Monday.

“We still want him to build up,” Roberts said. “And he’ll get that opportunity coming out of the ‘pen. He’ll be the first one out of the ‘pen. And also, it gives him an opportunity to pitch in a game where he’s essentially coming out of the ‘pen where it’s a hybrid, a little bit.”

Right-handers Ross Stripling (neck stiffness) and Dylan Floro (left intercostal strain) will both be activated Sunday, which is when rosters expand to 40 players, and will be available to pitch in the finale, with Stripling as a candidate to start.

More injury updates

• Outfielder Alex Verdugo (right oblique strain) took a day off from baseball activities on Friday, but he will resume throwing and taking at-bats on Saturday. Roberts said Verdugo will likely go on a rehab assignment early next week during the Minor League playoffs, and it could be for multiple games.

“If Alex comes back healthy, the odds of him being on our postseason roster are pretty good,” Roberts said.

• Left-hander Rich Hill (left forearm strain) will throw a bullpen session on Monday in Los Angeles. His last bullpen session was Tuesday in San Diego.

• Infielder David Freese (left hamstring strain) will be activated from the injured list on Sunday, and Roberts said he would be in the Dodgers’ lineup for the series finale.

Jake Rill is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JakeDRill.