Dodgers: It’s Time to Stop Treating Max Muncy like a Platoon Player
The Dodgers found a hidden gem in Max Muncy who has hit thirty home runs this season. Despite being one of the club’s best hitters, Muncy continues to sit most games against left-handed starters.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is often one of the more criticized people when the Dodgers are losing games. While some of the criticism may be a bit exaggerated, some questionable decisions are being made when it comes to the starting lineups. One of those is why does Max Muncy continue to sit against most left-handed starting pitchers?
This season, Max Muncy is second on the team with eight home runs off of left-handed pitching. Only Matt Kemp who has nine homers ranks ahead of Muncy on the entire Dodgers roster. Muncy’ .276 batting average against southpaws, ranks him third among everyday starters on the team behind only Manny Machado and Justin Turner.
Not only is Muncy able to hit left-handers, but he is also able to reach base against them as evidenced by his .388 on-base percentage against lefties. Once again, that ranks him behind only Manny Machado and Justin Turner for on-base percentage against left-handed pitching. Whatever method is being used to create lineups needs to be rechecked,
Max Muncy can not only hit left-handed pitching; he has been better against lefties than he has against right-handed pitching. Here are Muncy’s season splits:
Vs Right-handed pitching: .249 AVG/.378 OBP/.958 OPS
Vs Left-handed pitching: .276 AVG/.388 OBP/.975 OPS
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While the 22 of Muncy’s 30 home runs have been against righties, that is large because Muncy has had 241 at-bats against righties compared to only 87 at-bats against lefties. If you project Muncy’s stats against lefties out over the same number of at-bats as righties, then he would have very similar splits.
The question is why does Dave Roberts (and possibly the front office?) continue to treat Max Muncy like a platoon player? There is no doubt that his defense has been suspect at times at first base, but more playing time should help him smooth things out at first base.
The Dodgers current plan against lefties has not been working, so they should start playing their best hitters especially when they can hold their own against left-handed pitching. The addition of David Freese as a bench bat would be a great idea, but it seems as if the Dodgers are intent on starting him at first base against lefties.
Max Muncy has held his own against lefties, but it seems as if the Dodgers will never give him a shot to start regularly. Acquiring David Freese all but confirmed that. Muncy has been the Dodgers best power hitter outside of Manny Machado, yet he continues to be treated as a platoon player. The big question remains why?