Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Doesn’t Think Max Muncy Is Too Passive

The Los Angeles Dodgers broke out the bats in Wednesday’s series finale against the Cincinnati Reds, scoring eight runs to snap a three-game losing streak and end the homestand on a good note. Any sort of momentum was short lived as the Dodgers then fell to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The club collectively has swung the bat better as of late, but several players remain in the midst of lengthy slumps. Among them is Max Muncy, who has recorded just two hits in his last 32 at-bats dating back to April 17 while primarily batting out of the cleanup spot.

The 30-year-old, however, has drawn 13 walks during the span and continues reaching base at an above-average rate. “I think teams are pitching around him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts answered when asked if Muncy is being too passive.

“I think the bottom line is if you look at the OPS, it’s something I personally and we value as an organization. It’s in line with where it needs to be and certainly above average. He’s keeping the line moving, and guys behind him have got to continue to get hits.

“Will Smith did that [Tuesday] night. My encouragement is for Max to continue to swing at strikes and take balls. If they give him the walk, take the walk. He’ll get hits. I just like where he’s at right now.”

Muncy appears to be taking Roberts’ advice, as he currently leads the Majors with 26 walks. He has struck out 21 times by comparison, making him one of only a handful players with more walks than strikeouts.

In 25 games, Muncy is batting an overall .231/.439/.397 with two doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI over 107 plate appearances.

Smith not discouraged by low batting average

Along with Muncy, Mookie Betts and Will Smith are among the other Dodgers continuing to get on base despite sporting a low batting average.

For Smith in particular, he’s not concerned by the lack of results due to consistently drawing walks and hitting the ball hard. “You just keep going at-bat to at-bat. I haven’t really felt great all year at the plate,” he said this week.

“To be able to still walk, swing at the right pitches and move the ball, I just feel like I’ve been in compete mode all year. I really haven’t locked it in. I felt really good in spring and it kind of went away a bit. That’s what I try to do up there.

“I just try to hit the ball hard consistently, swing at the right pitches, and the rest will take care of itself. I can control what I can control.”

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