Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy struggled quite a bit for the first half of the 2022 season, likely still feeling the effects of the gruesome elbow injury that ended his 2021 season a few innings early and caused him to miss that postseason. He made some adjustments to his mechanics at midseason, but it looks like he’s dropped the step-back he had added because he no longer needs it.
Muncy talked with SportsNetLA’s Kirsten Watson during Tuesday’s game against the Reds at Camelback Ranch, and she asked how good it felt to come into the spring fully healthy.
“It feels really good. My body feels as good as it’s felt coming into spring in a long time. I feel strong. I feel healthy. My swing feels good. My path feels good. It’s just one of those things where, these early games in spring, you gotta get your rhythm back. It’s just exciting to be back out here.”
Muncy hasn’t had a normal spring in a while. In 2020, of course, spring training got canceled, and then during the abbreviated “summer camp” prior to the start of the shortened season, Muncy took a fastball off the hand and fractured a bone, which ended up affecting him for most of that season. In 2021, he was healthy, but the ongoing pandemic protocols made things different. And then last year, he was recovering from the elbow injury and spring training was shortened because of the lockout.
A healthy Muncy could be a very good thing for the Dodgers. In his three healthy seasons with Los Angeles (2018, 2019, and 2021), his OPS+ has been 161, 132, and 135, respectively, and LA would love to have any of those numbers from their slugger in 2023.
Step one: stay healthy. After the events of this week so far for the Dodgers, we’re all going to be a little nervous for a while.
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