Dodgers News: Max Muncy Believes Dodger Stadium Infield Grass Partly To Blame For Defensive Struggles

As the Los Angeles Dodgers look to find some consistency as a group, Max Muncy is also attempting to get on track in both the batter’s box and at third base.

The 32-year-old was off to a slow start at the plate before exploding for a record-setting performance against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. In addition to offensive struggles, Muncy has already committed two errors and been part of multiple misplays at third base.

Muncy knows he has been playing poorly and was critical of himself for not being in position to handle tough hops at the hot corner, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“When things are going bad, they’re going bad,” Muncy said Thursday. “I’m in between on everything and getting some tricky hops and I’m not putting myself in a position to handle them.”

Muncy did not want to make excuses for his poor defensive play, but noted the grass at Dodger Stadium is still coming in, which likely altered the trajectory of some of the balls hit to him:

“I’m not going to make any excuses, but Jordan (Lorenz), our groundskeeper, did say they planted an entire new field and because of the cold and the rainy weather, it hasn’t had a chance to set in yet,” Muncy said. “So there have been a couple where balls have hit seams in the grass and bounced one way or another, but from the grass to third is different than it’s been in years past. Once we get some warm weather, that will go away. Like I said, (there have been) some tricky hops but I’m not putting myself in a position to handle those hops.”

Prior to the 2022 season, Muncy primarily played at first base and second base, where he fared much better defensively. He experienced growing pains at third base last year as the primary starter as Justin Turner was shifted into more of a designated hitter role.

Now Muncy is the everyday starter for the Dodgers and did play improved defense at third base during the road trip.

Max Muncy wearing protective cup again

Earlier in his career, Muncy made the decision to stop wearing a protective cup to improve his defense. But after taking a ground ball off his groin injury last week, he is back to using one.

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