Thoughts About Max Muncy

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.

Dodgers Fall to Phillies in Series Finale

After winning the first two games of a three-game set against the Phillies to start their current road trip, the Dodgers fell in extras in the finale on Sunday in a game that was very much winnable.

Los Angeles starter Tony Gonsolin was once again solid, as all indications seemed he was cruising to his fifth victory of the season. He went six full innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Gonsolin’s only downfall is that he wasn’t as economical as the team would have liked, causing skipper Dave Roberts to dip into his much-exhausted bullpen in the seventh.

The Dodgers carried a 2-1 lead at Gonsolin’s exit, thanks to a pair of solo home runs from Mookie Betts and Edwin Rios. Betts was a one-man offensive machine in Saturday’s contest, going 3-for 4 with a double, a homer and three RBI.

After having an average as low as .171 on April 19, Betts is currently hitting .273 and leads the team with 10 long balls and 38 runs scored. Mookie’s 145 OPS+ is second on the club to only Freddie Freeman.

Maintaining the narrow lead, the Dodgers were in a position to seal the win in the ninth. With limited relief options and Craig Kimbrel having pitched the previous two games, Roberts decided to stick with righty Yency Almonte to close. Almonte struck out Alec Bohm and retired Bryce Harper on a ground out, but he allowed the tying run to score after surrendering a double to Nick Castellanos and a single to Jean Segura.

The Dodgers cashed in during the tenth when Betts scored on a Trea Turner single to right field, putting themselves back in the lead and in a position for the sweep. However, Roberts opted to use righty Evan Roberts in the 10th.

J.T. Realmuto started the tenth inning on second base for the Phillies and unsuccessfully tried to score on a Garret Stubbs grounder to short. Phillips struck out Johan Camargo next, but he surrendered a single to Roman Quinn, who advanced to second on the throw to nail Stubbs at third base.

The Phillies went on top when both Stubbs and Quinn scored on a Bohm ground ball to second base that Max Muncy couldn’t handle. The Dodgers challenged that Quinn was out at home, but the call was upheld.

Despite the wasted opportunity, stealing two wins in Philadelphia can be considered a victory. Still, with Blake Treinen on the shelf until after the All-Star break and Tommy Kahnle out with forearm inflammation, the immediate future of the Los Angeles bullpen doesn’t seem bright.

The Dodgers now move onto D.C. for a three-game set against the Nationals. Tyler Anderson gets the ball in the opener on Monday.

Amid Four Game Sweep of Diamondbacks, Dodgers Make Flurry of Pitching Moves

What a difference a day/team/series makes. After barely pulling out one win in four against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone on to sweep a four game series from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Continue reading “Amid Four Game Sweep of Diamondbacks, Dodgers Make Flurry of Pitching Moves”

Dodgers End Road Trip at 4-2; Head Home For Eight Games in Seven Days

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their six game road trip Wednesday, compiling a 4-2 record along the way. Normally that would be a good winning percentage on the road; the Dodgers dropped two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates, when they should have won two of the three.

Continue reading “Dodgers End Road Trip at 4-2; Head Home For Eight Games in Seven Days”

Dodgers Handle Tigers in Weekend Series, Prepare for Rival Giants

Freddie Freeman hit a clutch double in the bottom of the second and Walker Buehler threw five scoreless innings, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 victory and a two-games-to-one series win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

Continue reading “Dodgers Handle Tigers in Weekend Series, Prepare for Rival Giants”

Bellinger, Dodgers Power Past Padres in San Diego

The Dodgers sandwiched a pair of fantastic performances on Friday and Sunday around a lackluster offensive effort on Saturday, giving good reason why many pundits view them as the best team in the majors at this point of the season.

Continue reading “Bellinger, Dodgers Power Past Padres in San Diego”

Production From Muncy, Betts Could Take Dodgers’ Offense to Next Level

Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers are sitting at 10-3 with one of the MLB’s top records, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

When the team signed former MVP Freddie Freeman not long before the 2022 regular season finally got underway, writers across the baseball blogosphere began talking about how potent the Los Angeles lineup might be. However, there have been a few cold bats — most notably the lumber of Max Muncy and Mookie Betts — that have relegated the club to the fifth-best hitting and the second-best run producing team in the majors.

Continue reading “Production From Muncy, Betts Could Take Dodgers’ Offense to Next Level”

Dodgers News and Notes- Update on Heaney’s Shoulder, Bauer’s Leave Extended, and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers have just finished their first home stand of the season, going 7-1 combined against the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves. After a day off on Thursday, they will be heading down the California coast to face division rivals San Diego Padres for a three games set ay PetCo Park.

Continue reading “Dodgers News and Notes- Update on Heaney’s Shoulder, Bauer’s Leave Extended, and More”

Thoughts on Dodgers’ First Road Trip of the Season

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not started their 2022 campaign in any way that they had wanted. After winning on Opening Day, they dropped their next two game to the Colorado Rockies. Both the pitching and offense left much to be desired.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Dodgers’ First Road Trip of the Season”

Rockies Handle Sluggish Dodgers in 2022’s Opening Series

Although the Dodgers showed a bit of spark and promise on Opening Day, there wasn’t really much to write home about in the next two games, as the Rockies took 2022’s opening series two games to one on Sunday.

Continue reading “Rockies Handle Sluggish Dodgers in 2022’s Opening Series”