Max Muncy Playing Through Illness To Provide ‘Presence’ In Dodgers Lineup

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Max Muncy has been dealing with an illness for more than a week, but still remained in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup.

Trouble first arose for a May 5 matchup against the San Diego Padres and that Muncy ultimately started in at his usual third base. However, Muncy was removed in the eighth inning after Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saw him “laboring all night long.”

Muncy was back in the lineup the following day as the designated hitter and he has continued to start in every game despite still dealing with lingering symptoms of the illness and not posting productive at-bats.

“He’s been scuffling,” Roberts acknowledged. “For me, it was more of know you’re scuffling, but we need you out there. We need you to post, be a presence in the lineup. I think physically he’s better, there’s his chest cough that he can’t get past. But he’s doing alright. He’s hanging in there.”

Since May 5, Muncy has gone 2-for-26 with both hits being a single. One came on May 9 against the Milwaukee Brewers and the other was in Saturday’s win against the Padres.

From May 5-8, Muncy was in the midst of an 0-for-13 stretch, and over the month of May total he’s batting just .132/.227/.211. However, Muncy is still a player opposing pitchers need to pay attention to with the ability to homer or work a walk in any at-bat.

Despite his recent struggles, Muncy is having a rebound season after a down 2022. He’s batting .202/.357/.526 with a 137 wRC+ and leads the Dodgers with 12 home runs, which also ranks second in the National League. Once back to full health and in rhythm, it would not be surprising to see Muncy swing a hot bat again.

Dodgers lineup ‘feeds off’ Max Muncy

With a new-look roster and multiple players who struggled through the first month of the season, Muncy has become arguably the most important player in the lineup.

“You hate to say that one guy is sort of a key figure, but if I had to pick one guy who is going well, guys feed off of Max and what he’s doing in the batter’s box,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

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