Dodgers Briefing: Several players missing, Muncy hurt, Kershaw gets opener

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

2. Max Muncy injured his left ring finger

First baseman Max Muncy suffered an injury to his left ring finger that kept him out of the lineup during the team’s intrasquad game on Monday.

"“He took a ball off the finger, so we just wanted to give him some time,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said (h/t Dodger Blue). “He’s going to lay low for a little bit. Right now, he’s kind of day-to-day. It was his left ring finger … the metacarpal.”"

Should be back soon: Roberts followed up by saying the injury wasn’t serious and he doesn’t expect Muncy to miss the start of the season, which is less than three weeks away.

Change in swing: Muncy spent time over the offseason working to improve his approach against offspeed pitches. He felt he was landing on his front leg wrong, which could have contributed to a .197 batting average against breaking stuff last season. Muncy told Dodgers Insider in April that hitting coaches Brant Brown and Robert Van Scoyoc flew to Texas to work with him during the offseason.

Record books: Muncy became the first Dodger hitter to have back-to-back 30+ home run seasons since Shawn Green in 2001-02 when he connected for 35 long balls for the second consecutive season last year. Signed to a minor league contract, ready to quite baseball entirely, the left-hander has turned into one of the most consistent power hitters in the National League. He credits his success to a change in his mental approach, by playing the game for the right reasons again.