Max Muncy has been among the several Los Angeles Dodgers regulars plagued by bouts of inconsistency this season, and those struggles have again resurfaced as of late.
Since going 2-for-2 with a double, home run and two walks against the Colorado Rockies on July 5, Muncy has recorded only five hits over his last 49 at-bats (.102 batting average).
“I think in his work, in batting practice, I see it really consistent, really good. He’s in a good headspace,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of what he has seen from Muncy.
“I think from what I see is that spin, offspeed, he’s getting disconnected in his mechanics, which is forcing him to release the barrel, put the ball on the ground to the pull side. So like any hitter, when you’re pulling balls on the ground, you’re not going well.
“So he’s got to get the ball up in the zone and use a big part of the field. And so when he does that, he’s taking better swings. So again, I think the work has been consistent. I think the headspace is good, but he’s got to make that adjustment to get back to the big part of the field.”
Muncy missed some time earlier this season due to left elbow inflammation and the Dodgers hoped a stint on the 10-day injured list would give him a chance to reset.
“I think that we were certainly hoping for more production from when he came back, but there’s still a lot of baseball left,” Roberts said. “So I’m counting on him. I’m still going to continue to give Max leash. I believe in him.”
In 79 games this season, Muncy is batting just .158/.308/.304 with nine doubles, nine home runs and 31 RBI across 321 plate appearances.
Roberts not concerned about Muncy strikeout rate
Since the start of July, Muncy has struck out at least two times in 11 of his 19 games — the majority of which were looking. “I think with all hitters, the really good ones, the consistent performers know exactly where they’re trying to hunt a zone,” Roberts began.
“And I think with Max, when you look up at the scoreboard and you see an average up there, I think you start kind of start chasing a little bit more. And pitching is too good to try to cover every quadrant.
“So when I see him swinging at a changeup down below, off, to then swing it balls in, off. That’s telling me that you don’t have a consistent approach. So honing in that approach will certainly be helpful.”
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