Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Confident In Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy Heading Into Postseason

The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2020 season with arguably the deepest lineup in all of baseball, led by reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger and the addition of Mookie Betts.

The rest of the group consists of multiple former All-Stars such as Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson, and an emerging Will Smith. With so much talent in one lineup, the Dodgers expectedly have had their way with opposing pitchers this season.

However, not every player has lived up to expectations. Bellinger struggled offensively to begin the year, hitting a mere .139 with no home runs in July (eight games).

He eventually caught fire in August, but fell into another slump at the start of September — only to have since bounced back with an eight-game hitting streak. Likewise, Muncy hasn’t found consistency at the plate.

The 30-year-old has seen his on-base plus slugging progressively drop by the month, while his power numbers in general are down when compared to recent seasons.

As the postseason draws closer, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that he isn’t necessarily concerned about Bellinger’s and Muncy’s results at the plate, but more so their approach.

“You can put Joc in that bucket too. I don’t think it’s a numbers thing. For me, it’s more of this is an eye test,” Roberts recently said.

“I don’t need numbers to see if they’re controlling the strike zone, if they’re using the whole field, if they’re ending the at-bat at the appropriate time when they get a pitch they can handle. For me, that’s more that I’m looking for going into the postseason.”

Focusing on Muncy specifically, the start of his 2020 campaign was derailed after fracturing his finger in Summer Camp. It forced him to change his mechanics, which in turn created a mental challenge that was difficult to overcome.

Connecting the dots, Roberts believes the root of Muncy’s struggles stem from his previous finger injury. “I think it started off early with the little fracture and then some time away, trying to work through his mechanics,” Roberts said.

“There’s some things mechanically he hasn’t been able to lock down, but I think last night, staying through that breaking ball was a good sign. There was a left-on-left double the other way in San Diego, he’s taking his walks, so he’s certainly trending in the right direction.

“I expect him to be peaking at the right time.”

Roberts doesn’t correlate Muncy’s offensive struggles with defensive woes

In addition to his struggles at the plate, Muncy has taken a step back defensively as well. He has committed four errors on the year — three of which occurred over his last four games.

While it’s easy to claim there is a connection to struggles at the plate, Roberts doesn’t believe Muncy’s recent defensive woes relate to his offensive slump. “No, no. Max is a pro. He definitely is not a guy that takes his hitting to the defensive side,” Roberts said.

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