Dodgers News: Max Muncy More Comfortable Staying At Third Base

With Justin Turner now a member of the Boston Red Sox and Gavin Lux projected to play as the everyday shortstop, the Los Angeles Dodgers were left with a hole at both third base and second base.

The Dodgers have multiple options to take over at those positions, including Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Miguel Vargas, Michael Busch and Miguel Rojas, which will lead to an open competition in Spring Training.

The early expectations are Muncy and Vargas will become the everyday players at those positions, with former manning the hot corner, despite that being the latter’s natural position. That leaves Vargas as the second baseman, where he does not have much experience at, but it allows Muncy to play the position he is best at.

“I felt like I performed very well at third last year. Our internal metrics were very good for me, and I did start feeling comfortable just because I was playing it so much,” Muncy said during Dodgers FanFest.

“Third base is the position I’ve always said you need to play it consistently to feel comfortable over there. When I was bouncing around and I’d play there once every week or two weeks, I felt like it was a very hard position to play. But when I started playing it every day, I got more comfortable and felt like it got a lot easier for me.

“It’s a position I’ve grown to like after playing it so much last year.”

Vargas became a highly-touted prospect thanks to his bat, but there have long been defensive concerns and questions of whether he would stick at the hot corner for the Dodgers.

The 23-year-old has worked hard to increase his athleticism, which led to the Dodgers working with him in the outfield and second base, rather than just as a corner infielder.

Vargas saw most of his pregame work with the Dodgers at second base last season, and manager Dave Roberts is confident the top prospect will be able to handle the position well enough.

“Talking to Dino Ebel, Max has become pretty comfortable at third base,” Roberts noted. “I think as far as the rangeability and foot speed, I think Miguel can handle it. I think he needs to continue to work low to the ground as an infielder, but his baseball IQ, jump on the baseball, I think it makes more sense.”

L.A. will rely on Muncy and Vargas to make an impact offensively, but their ability to defend with an almost entirely new infield may go a long way in determining the outcome of the Dodgers 2023 season.

Dodgers sign Miguel Rojas to contract extension

The Dodgers signed Rojas to a one-year, $6 million contract extension through the 2024 season. The deal includes a $5 million team option or $1 million buyout for 2025, along with charitable contributions.

The 33-year-old was poised to become a free agent after the 2023 season.

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