The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t dominated quite like the massive juggernauts everyone expected them to play like, but they can’t point to the performance of Max Muncy to that, as the former Oakland A’s slugger has been providing his usual brand of three true outcome-centric efficiencies.
After slugging 70 home runs in his first two seasons with LA and helping them win a championship in 2020, Muncy came into Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves with the best on-base percentage (.428) in the National League with 13 home runs and 30 RBI in his back pocket.
Muncy didn’t get much of a chance to make an impact on the game, as he was removed from the contest in the fourth inning after charging hard to first to beat out a double-play ball.
Muncy was removed from the game, and he was replaced by Matt Beaty at first base. It’s safe to say that if he is to miss any extended time as a result of this, the Dodgers could start to experience a major regression.
UPDATE: Muncy was removed from the game due to a sore right ankle. It is unclear if he will miss time.
Max Muncy being hurt could have a huge impact on the Dodgers.
Muncy’s value obviously lies in his bat, but with 19 games at second base this season, Muncy offers LA a unique amount of positional versatility that can allow them to get all of their hot bats in the lineup at once. Without him, the likes of Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger will have even more on their plate.
Betts is still playing at an extremely high level, but he hasn’t quite reached the same All-MLB level heights that he has played at over the last few years. Bellinger can take over the game when he’s healthy, but he is still trying to work his way back from an injury.
Beaty will be the most logical replacement for him at first base, as his bat has picked up enough to warrant consideration for increased playing time. Albert Pujols is a liability in the field and a shell of the All-Star he was in his prime, but his power means that he can knock a ball or two out of the yard in Muncy’s stead if he squares one up.
Hopefully, Dave Roberts took him out of the game for purely precautionary measures. If this is a sign that Muncy will need some time on the shelf, the Dodgers might need to scramble in order to reconfigure the roster and make up for this.