Max Muncy: Dodgers Getting Back Injured Players Could Be ‘Trade Deadline In Itself’

The Los Angeles Dodgers have inched closer to full health in recent weeks, but remain without several key contributors due to injury.

Max Muncy has been sidelined for nearly two months because of a right hamstring strain but does not appear any closer to returning after a recent setback. He began swinging a bat again in late June, but that was shut down due to lingering soreness.

Mookie Betts also remains on the injured list with a fractured left hand, but the bone is healing well, so he should be ready to return within a month or so.

Meanwhile, a slew of Dodgers pitchers in Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Brusdar Graterol, Michael Grove, Joe Kelly and Ryan Brasier are all working their way back to the mound. Some of their timelines remain up in the air, but the hope is the Dodgers get at least a few of them back.

During an appearance on “Foul Territory,” Muncy said he is looking forward to the group of injured players returning and likened it to a trade deadline haul:

“For everyone to get healthy. We’ve got some big (starting) pitchers coming back, we’ve got some big bullpen pieces coming back. We’re missing Bazooka (Brusdar Graterol), we’re missing Joe Kelly, we’re missing Kersh, we’re missing Bobby Miller, missing Ryan Brasier. I don’t think people understand how big of a key he was for us last year.

“We’re missing a lot of big pieces. And I think a sneaky piece we’re missing is Kyle Hurt. That guy has the potential to be an absolute shutdown reliever. His stuff is absolutely nasty, and he showed that a little bit for us this year before he got hurt.

“If you get some of those guys back, that’s a trade deadline in itself.”

Kershaw has not thrown a pitch this season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery but is on the verge of starting a second rehab assignment, which would be his final hurdle before rejoining the Dodgers if all goes well.

In May’s case, the Dodgers have not decided what his role will be if he makes it back this year.

The potential returns of Graterol, Kelly and Brasier would boost a Dodgers bullpen that has been one of the best units in baseball. Graterol is the only pitcher in the group who has not made an appearance this season due to shoulder right inflammation/left hip trouble.

Grove also continues to deal with the lat issue that shut him down.

Dodgers’ depth stepping up amid injuries

Even with the aforementioned injuries, the Dodgers have been one of the best teams in baseball this year and remain first place in the National League West.

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