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Dodgers NLDS: Dave Roberts Talks Max Muncy’s Spot in the Lineup



It might be time to really address an elephant in the room for the Dodgers. All season long, slugger Max Muncy has batted near the top of the batting order while stumbling through the 60 game season with a .192 batting average. Still, he connected on 12 home runs and walked 39 times to help give him a .331 on-base percentage.

While that’s all well and good in the regular season, there’s nowhere near as much leash in the postseason. And, notably, Max is still struggling in the playoffs, albeit in only 2 games. Last week against Milwaukee in the Wild Card series, he went hitless but picked up a pair of walks in 7 plate appearances.

With that, Dave Roberts was asked on Sunday how secure Muncy’s spot in the lineup is going forward.

He’ll be in the middle of our lineup. I still think that the first game taking a couple walks. The second game I thought he got off some really good swings, just didn’t make contact. But I still think that he’s seeing the baseball considerably better and I like him where he’s at.

Dave expanded on that third line — which… yeah, looks a lot worse when your read over when you hear it — to say that he felt some of Max’s swings in NLWC game 2 were better than some of the swings he’d taken during the middle of the season. So that’s a thing.

Despite the MLB-leading 43-17 record, Muncy struggled to get it going all season long. In his finest stretch of games, the infielder triple slashed .333/.465/636 over 10 games (August 21-September 1). During that stretch, he batted fifth or later in the lineup in 7 of 10 games, perhaps shining a light on the lower pressure spots in the batting order.

There’s no doubt that the Dodgers lineup is deep 1-9 any way you write it up. But if there’s an option for potential added production with a simple swap in the order, the hope is that Doc and the organization explore it sooner rather than later.

Up Next

The Dodgers next play on Tuesday against the Padres in MLB’s playoff bubble in Arlington, Texas. Right-hander Walker Buehler takes the ball in game 1.

NEXT: Padres at Dodgers NLDS Game Times Announced

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. At the same time, Roberts noted that opening voyage of the Titanic went very well by most established metrics, the ship just failed to conclude the trip.

  2. As per usual, Roberts proved once again his being so clueless! He couldn’t dance around these questions any better. Everyone KNOWS that Muncy belongs further down in the order for this series. So don’t be surprised once again if Dodgrrs season ends by Thursday or Fridsy.

  3. DR again can’t see the obvious.Need Muncy at 1B yet but down at 7 or 8 hole in order. How about Rios or Beaty at first ? Max as PH?

  4. For now I’d insert Rios at first instead of Muncy.

    Roberts shouldn’t slavishly stick to his lineup pattern if a player has been cold almost all season. Even a short cold spell is enough to change it up in a playoff series if there’s a good option.

  5. He’s been an anchor in this lineup all season. Seems like he got his money and is content with where he’s at. Sit him and start Rios. Maybe that will light a fire under his butt!

  6. I got an idea, let players earn their spot in the lineup. Rios has earned his spot, Lux did not. Let Muncy earn his spot .

  7. D.R. HAS A THING ABOUT MUNCY. SIT HIM DOWN, SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED LONG TIME AGO. BELLI ON 1ST, KIKA OR CHRIS ON 2ND SEAGER @ S.S, RIOS @3RD. [email protected] DH ,[email protected] CF, MATT @ LF, MOOKIE @ RF. MUNCY, WHERE IS HE TO PLAY? DODGERS DONT NEED MUNCY,SEE WHAT MORE MONEY GOT YOU,FIRE D.R. OR LOOSE THE SERIES W/SD.

  8. Making the same mistakes as last October. Gonna stick with a cold hitter while guys who are hotter and itching to play go to waste.

    • Hello Don. Imagine if ya will thst zRoberts is willing to stick a .192 hitter battong clean up no less who went hitless in the Wild Card series and struck out in about half of his plate appearances. Honestly there is no real rhyme or reason in this strategy, but that’s Doc for ya.

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