Max Muncy continues to be the Dodgers most productive batter second to Matt Kemp. Muncy, on the year, is hitting just .248 but his batting average is not an accurate representation of his success this season. He has clubbed a team-leading nine home runs and 23 RBIs to go along with a .917 OPS. Muncy’s production with runners on-base is also tops not only on the team but in the league among batters playing on a regular basis. Muncy’s success, and Justin Turner’s return, have however forced Cody Bellinger to a reduced role. Muncy has seen the majority of his time at first base this season and has also played some third, mostly during Justin Turner’s absence. Dave Roberts has also mentioned the possibility of giving Max Muncy time at second base, a move that could be extremely production should Bellinger turn things around.
The other story in the Max Muncy storybook season is Cody Bellinger’s struggles. In his past 15 games, Bellinger has hit a measly .100 which reduced his season batting average to just .226. In that same 15 game stretch, Bellinger has struck out 17 times in 50 at-bats. In an interview on Sunday, June 3, Roberts commented that Bellinger’s slump in 2018 has a lot to do with his mechanics and will need to make changes to get his swing from last going again. In the meantime, Bellinger has been sitting out games in favor of both Max Muncy at first base and Joc Pederson in centerfield. Bellinger was a key to the Dodgers’ success last year and he is hoping to recapture that magic to give his team a boost in 2018.
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The Dodgers added more pitching depth to the system on Saturday, June 2, when they picked up left-handed pitcher PJ Conlon from the Mets off waivers. Conlon, 24, was added to the 40-man roster and to make room for him, the Dodgers put Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 60-day disabled list. Conlon, who was born in Ireland, is a nice addition to the Dodgers minor league system as his youth and successful track-record should provide a positive boost to the organization. In 2016, he was was the Mets minor league pitcher of the year. Even with his 2018 struggles, the 24-year old starter has a career minor league ERA of 2.85 and a WHIP of 1.129. Conlon also made his major league debut in 2018 which was less than stellar owning an 11.12 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched.