On the heels of a breakout season, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy reported to Spring Training looking to replicate the success he enjoyed in 2018.
That unfortunately hasn’t been the case, as Muncy has struggled at the plate for the better part of Cactus League play. Entering play Sunday, he was hitting a meager .190/.292/.262 with three doubles and four RBI over 42 at-bats in 16 games.
Included in that rough stretch was a forearm injury that Muncy sustained, although he quickly shrugged it off and recently returned to the starting lineup.
In the event Muncy is unable to snap out of his slump during the regular season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that he hasn’t yet considered any contingency plans, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I think all hitters kind of get their timing at different points of time,” said manager Dave Roberts. “To be honest with you, as long as Max is staying in the strike zone for me, he has a simple swing and I think he’ll be fine. I haven’t really thought about a Plan B.”
Should Muncy continue struggling, it wouldn’t be surprising to see David Freese get even more reps at first base than anticipated. He has thrived in Cactus League play and is currently slated to receive the bulk of his opportunities against left-handed pitching.
In the midst of trying times, Muncy is being cautious and doesn’t intend to make any dramatic changes from the same approach that propelled him to a breakout season just one year ago.
Roberts is ultimately confident that Muncy can bounce back and prove that his 2018 campaign wasn’t a fluke, citing his excellent plate discipline as reason for optimism.