It’s no secret Max Muncy has had his share of struggles during the 2022 season as he returns from a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left elbow that was suffered at the end of the regular season last year.
Muncy is still being affected by the injury and may not fully recover until 2023. The 31-year-old is batting .167/.333/.289 with five home runs, a .293 wOBA and 89 wRC+ just one season removed from being named to his second All-Star Game and finishing 10th in the National League MVP voting.
Although Muncy feels more like his old self since returning from the 10-day injured list, he still has to manage working on swing mechanics while also giving his elbow enough time to recover, via SportsNet LA:
“It feels really good. Just getting results is always nice when you’re putting in a lot of work. Unfortunately, what’s been going on, sometimes I put in too much work and not giving my arm enough time to heal. So it’s trying to find a good balance. It was a very rewarding day and felt really nice.”
While he was on his rehab assignment, Muncy was working on his swing mechanics with Dodgers assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates and the results seemed promising in his return as he went 2-for-5 with a home run and double against the Chicago White Sox.
However, Muncy’s struggles returned after that and he had just five hits in his next 34 at-bats. But on Thursday, Muncy had another big day, going 3-for-4 with a home run, which he believed was a sign of feeling better and his continued work on his swing:
“It’s just trying to clean up my path a little bit. With the elbow this year, I’ve been cutting it off a lot and not extending through the ball. So we’re just trying to do a lot of things to get me to extend through and not come around it. The last several days it’s been feeling really well. Today, obviously got the results, so it’s a really good day, but we still have work to do.”
Muncy followed that performance in the series finale against the Reds by going 0-for-3 with two walks in the first game at Truist Park. He then struck out in a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday.
Muncy has experience managing rest and work
Last season, Muncy was in a similar situation after injuring his oblique. The end result was the infielder ended up limiting his batting practice swings to persevere his health and avoid any setbacks.
He said it all comes down to just making better decisions when he’s practicing so he can remain ready for each game.
“It’s just smarter about it all. It’s not necessarily less, it’s just being smarter how I go about it,” Muncy said last year.
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