Dodgers News: Max Muncy Made Adjustments To Improve Third Base Defense

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While Max Muncy has been a productive presence in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, his defense at third base regressed over recent seasons.

The two-time All-Star endured some struggles on the field last year and lost weight during the offseason to help him move better at the position.

Muncy has gotten plenty of reps at third base so far in Spring Training and believes he is already seeing an improvement with his defensive work, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“I feel good. I’m able to stay down when the ball is hit to me, which is the biggest thing. The knees feel good, and that’s the other biggest thing. I’m not coming up out my stance, whether it’s defense or in the box. It’s been good so far and I’ve just got to keep the work going.”

Muncy noted that his main focus during the offseason was keeping his feet moving to make better reads on ground balls:

“Just making sure my feet move a little bit more and getting the knees healthy. Last year I had a little trouble staying down the ball. I was kind of up out of my fielding stance and everything. Doing that, it’s hard to read the hops. I kept putting myself in bad positions last year with bad hops.

“The old saying is, ‘There’s never a bad hop. You create a bad hop.’ That’s not necessarily always true, but I felt like that happened to me a lot last year where I was just putting myself in bad positions. The focus is just making sure my feet stay moving, allowing myself to read the ball and make moves on it.”

Muncy has gotten off to a good start this spring as he enters play Friday hitting .385/.526/.846 with two home runs and four RBI in eight games.

Muncy overcame a scare last week after getting hit by a pitch in the left hand during a Cactus League game between the Dodgers and Texas Rangers. X-rays came back negative and the 33-year-old returned to the lineup after missing just two games.

However, Muncy has continued to be hit, taking pitches off his right shoulder/upper back and right knee in recent games.

Muncy’s ability to improve defensively has become more of a focal point in light of Gavin Lux’s struggles putting a spotlight on the left side of the infield.

Max Muncy cleared mental hurdle after hit by pitch

Muncy singled in his first at-bat since getting hit in the hand, which he believed helped clear some of the mental hurdles of stepping back into the box.

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