He is one of those famous ‘reclamation projects’ that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been famous for in the past few years. Taking a player that may not have been coveted by other teams and turning them into an All-Star.
The Dodgers did just that with Max Muncy, who the Dodgers signed in 2017 and tucked him away in Triple-A Oklahoma City to work on his play. By 2018 he was up with the big team, and providing power in the lineup. He hit 35 home runs in both 2018 and 2019, and in 2021 he had 36 long balls.
Muncy has been a steady on-base machine for the last four plus years. But this season, no matter what he does, Muncy cannot get his bat going.
The utility man is currently sitting with a .156/.331/.279/.610 slash line with three homers. Muncy is still consistently getting walks; but the hits just aren’t coming. Over his last 15 games, Max only has eight hits in 46 at bats.
The culmination of a bad start to the season seemed to be Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, where Muncy struck out with bases loaded in the 10th inning, and then bobbled a ball at second base that would have gotten the third out and allowed the Phillies to score two and win in walk-off fashion.
After the game, a thoroughly dejected Muncy spoke with reporters.
“I go out there everyday, and I at least try to throw something in the bucket, and do whatever I can to help the team win, and whether it’s get a walk, make a play, get on base, unfortunately today I took something out of it. I didn’t add to helping the team win and that’s my own fault and I gotta own up to that”.
When asked whether he should say anything to Muncy after a play like that, manager Dave Roberts said “No, he’s a pro, he’s got to keep going. He’s played good defense for us all year, it’s just something that happens. Right now he’s grinding, he just hasn’t been able to get going yet this season. Working hard at the plate, he’s not giving at bats away, he’s still competing, the last thing he wanted to do was not field that ball.”
Doc was also on High Heat on Monday talking with Alanna Rizzo about Muncy. “It’s tough because Max is such a great ball player…and that play right there, I know he’d like to have that back. But I’m going to keep running him out there…baseballs a tough game, and that scene right there, we all feel for him right now.” Roberts went on to say that he didn’t think that Muncy was taking his offensive woes into the field.
Roberts also said that he thinks that maybe the injury is still hampering Muncy, more in the mental side of things as opposed to the physical side. He said that Muncy will be right back out there in Mondays game and that he feels like Muncy will be seeing the upswing soon.
Most likely, this is the cause. It was a huge blow to Muncy and to the team when his UCL was torn trying to make a play on first base in the last game of the 2021 regular season, and while he may physically be feeling well, the mental part of it may not have caught up with Muncy yet.
As stated, Max is in Monday night’s lineup, batting sixth, about where he’s been most of the season. He will be playing third base while Justin Turner gets a night off.
It remains to be seen how long Roberts and the coaching staff let Muncy go before doing something to change things up for him. A phantom IL stint could be in his future, as a reset of sorts. But Roberts is known to ride out players’ low points until they find themselves again. Luckily Muncy is on a team where they are not solely dependent on his production. But there are games like Sunday’s that do unfortunately bring his issues to the forefront. Let’s hope that this was rock bottom for Muncy, and the upswing beings from here.
22 thoughts on “Thoughts About Max Muncy”
I’m a big Max Muncy fan. He’s the kind of guy you want next to you in a fox hole.
Absolutely no surprise that Doc is running him out there again today. That’s how Doc runs his team. He did it with Kenley, Belli, Mookie, JT and will do it with Max. And eventually it will work. Maybe yesterday’s game will make Max so mad, that he’ll become more aggressive. I think we all agree that he’s been too passive in the batter’s box.
I suppose that there is a slight chance that his lack of hitting is injury related, but I’m guessing it’s more psychological at this point. Muncy would be the type of guy who would try to play through an injury and it’s possible that he is feeling pain that he isn’t talking about when extending on his swing. If that’s the case, he needs to sit. Otherwise, I’m OK with giving him a little more time to straighten himself out while, at the same time, giving Rios the additional at bats he deserves. That’s all doable by giving CT3, JT and Lux a game or two off per week, depending on who is hot and who isn’t.
I expect to see an angry Max Muncy out there tonight and I expect a minimum of two extra base hits. Actually, I just heard that this is the 20th anniversary of the Shawn Green 4 homer game and as a salute to that accomplishment I’m predicting that Max hits 4 homers tonight. Glass half full, folks, glass half full.
Muncy should be hitting 8 or 9 in the lineup. CT3 has been as bad or worse lately. By carrying 13 pitchers they have little flexibility when it comes to sitting CT3 for his issues. Only other guy that can play LF is Lux who should be at 2B every day. They should probably start platooning Muncy and Alberto as he has had success against LHers.
Muncy is a great guy. But he is a below average defensive 2nd baseman. What gripes me is Roberts is telling us by his actions that an injured and struggling Muncy is better than any body else on the bench or at OKC and frankly I throw the BS flag. Roberts is and continues to be a manager unwilling or unable to make the right but tough decision. And we are stuck with him!!
At least Bellinger is an elite center-fielder which has value as he flops around on his at bats.
Anderson perfect thru 5. About time for Roberts to pull him. 😎
90: pitches and he’ll be gone.
Nono gone. I guess I jinxed him.
Well that’s why they carry 8 relief pitchers
Couldn’t sign Scherzer so we had to settle for Anderson. Sometimes things just fall in your lap. He’s been an absolute revelation. Let’s just enjoy him for as long as it lasts.
So we scored 10 runs tonight and won the game by 9. Let’s hope we don’t need any of those extra runs for the next two games. Baseball is funny that way.
I was not expecting this from Anderson, I thought he would be pitching out of the bullpen. He’s done a pretty good job with the opportunity he’s getting. Props to you Tyler.
Is it sustainable? Not likely, but, this team can sure use it now. SD is step by step with us and they are without their best player. It’s going to be an interesting summer.
Padres are for real. Head to head match up with them will be crucial in winning the division.
I think they will fall back. Too many holes in their lineup and fragile arms on their staff.
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Have to agree with glpeck, jhall. Don’t expect pads or giants for that matter to be much above 500 come seasons end.
I’ll take those two bets for 100 push-ups. Both those teams are good, and know how to get better mid season. They aren’t Dodgers good, but then I said the same thing about the giants last year and they won the Division.
There is something strange happening with the Dodgers. They at times have looked awful, a few key players aren’t even hitting .200, we are going through a lot of pitchers early, and yet we again have this incredible record. Seems like no matter what we’re going to win. Is it sustainable?
The Padres and Giants are not bad teams. My comment has to do with their current win rate, which in the padres case is 100+ wins. Other than Tatis when he comes back, Machado and Hosmer their lineup has a lot of holes. Well Cronenworth will probably come around. He’s solid. But I see both them winning more like 88-92 wins. Not 100+.
Watch out Gordon, your tempting fate with that comment.
OK, looks like we have two camps here.
Put me in the “Pads are for real” camp.
I didn’t expect the Giants to be competitive (although I didn’t expect them to be last year either), but I have a lot of respect for SD. Hope I’m wrong. I’ll be happy to apologize.
I expect Farhan to pull rabbits out of his hat. I think the Padres are a good team, not a great team. We have the potential to be great, but certain players have to have good years. Buehler, Urias and Gonsolin are 3 that must be excellent. Anderson’s year I don’t believe is sustainable. He’s just not this good. Is he?
Yes, he’s this good…………………………………..right now. But he probably can’t keep doing it. So, I agree that it isn’t sustainable. But if he can continue like this for even half a season, he’ll have made a tremendous contribution.
Even if he only keeps it going a little while longer, he’ll have earned his contract. Fangraphs says 1 WAR in 2022 is worth $8.5MM. Anderson signed for $8MM and his bWAR to this point in the season is already 0.8. Pretty much any way you look at it, the Anderson signing was a good one.
So Betts, the hottest hitter this side of Joc Pederson (haha) is given a day off. I never get that? Give him a day off after an 0-4. Bellinger has an illness and sits again. Alberto in RF!
Speaking of Joc, we could have probably brought him back to be 4Th OF/DH. Would provide more of what we need than Rios. IMO
Well, was it worth taking a loss to rest Betts?
Will almost made up for it but too many guys refuse to adjust their upper cut swings IMO. And they get frustrated because they hit pop ups.
Oh well. On to Arizona.
Pads are for real, I hate to see what happens when Tatis gets back.