The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup received a boost last week as Max Muncy was activated off the 10-day injured list after missing some time due to left elbow inflammation.
The 31-year-old immediately made an impact by going 2-for-5 with a double, home run and five RBI in his first game back against the Chicago White Sox.
Muncy took exception to White Sox manager Tony La Russa intentionally walking Trea Turner to face him, which he believes helped him rediscover his fiery personality. Since his impressive return, however, Muncy has collected only two hits in 16 at-bats entering play Friday.
Despite the poor results, Muncy has been pleased with the process and believes it’s only a matter of time before hits start falling, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
“My at-bats since I came back, even if the results aren’t there I feel really like my old self,” he said. “I feel a lot better. My misses have been better. The process is a lot better. The mind is a lot better. With that, the results will come. I know who I am as a player. The biggest thing was taking a step back and letting my body get well for a couple days.”
After collecting MVP votes in three of the past four seasons, Muncy has struggled to the tune of a .156/.323/.279 batting line with five doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI over 192 plate appearances this year (47 games).
Muncy’s woes can be attributed to still not being fully recovered from the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) he sustained in his left elbow, which he conceded might not happen until next season.
Muncy nevertheless is searching for solutions and used his IL stint to not only rest his elbow, but also worked on swing mechanics with Dodgers assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates.
Roberts encouraged with Muncy
In addition to Muncy being confident he will soon turn a corner at the plate, Roberts has similar expectations even if there’s a need for some patience. “I have,” Roberts answered when asked if he likes what he has seen from Muncy since returning from the IL.
“I think that obviously, that was a great day in Chicago on Thursday. But to think that everything is fixed is a little too high of expectations. I’ve seen better at-bats.
“I’ve seen better swings and just missing some pitches. So I do think that production we’ll see kind of manifests over the next few games, and it’s getting better considerably.”
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