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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Praises Max Muncy Despite Early Spring Struggles

Manager Dave Roberts thinks Mad Max is mentally in a much better place this year.



Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy’s 2020 regular season was one to forget. After hitting a combined 256/.381/.545 in 2018 and 2019, the slugger struggled in 2020 (.192/.331/.389). To his credit, Muncy made no excuses publicly, but getting hit by a pitch and injuring his finger during the second Spring Training played a major role in his sluggish 2020.

This Spring Training, the Dodgers primary first baseman is 100% healthy and manager Dave Roberts said he has noticed the difference.

I see he’s in a considerably better place than he was last year and even last year at the Spring Training 2.0 getting hit on the wrist — really playing catch-up form that point on.

Despite the praise, Muncy has had a tough go so far this spring, at least on paper. In 9 games, the 30-year-old has just 2 hits in 21 at-bats (.095). So, what exactly is Doc liking out of Max?

Right now, he’s seeing the baseball really well. Taking good swings. Having good at-bats. Much more comfortable in the batters box than he was a year ago … I think that right now, he’s just in a better place mentally than he was last year and not playing catch-up. He is right where he needs to be at this point in time.

Related: Sheldon Neuse Looks to Take the Same Path to LA as Max Muncy

Roberts also divulged that unlike past years, Muncy will not be playing much, if any, second or third base. Roberts prefers Rios, Taylor, and Lux at those positions defensively.

I think the way that Rios has come on defensively, we just feel much better about coverage at third base. Obviously, getting CT some repetition at third base as well keeps Max on that side of the diamond. Now you’re looking at second base and with Gavin and CT, we’ve got coverage there”.

Considering Muncy’s disdain for the hot corner, safe to say he’s not too upset to be the primary first baseman. For the first time in his Dodger career, Mad Max will know exactly where he’s playing when he pulls into the parking lot.

Muncy is healthy and ready to put his 2020 regular season in the rearview mirror.

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. Oh, oh. The kiss of death from Roberts. Muncy is doomed. Seriously though he should be fine. It isn’t that rare for a veteran player to hit .150 in spring and come out of the gate and hit .400 in April.

  2. I’m looking for Muncy to have a big year in 2021. He may not have had a great 2020 regular season, but he got it done in the postseason.

  3. If he’s mentally in a good place at .083, perhaps he should get a little mentally challenged.

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