It wasn’t for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but any positive production from Max Muncy is a welcome sight for fans after what’s occurred since he suffered an elbow injury in Game 162 last year.
Muncy never returned for the playoffs last October, and there was largely silence on his status until he shockingly revealed later in the offseason that he suffered a partially-torn UCL and was rehabbing it instead of undergoing surgery.
Was that the best idea? The jury’s still out. One could argue the Dodgers’ way of utilizing him upon his return — which, by the way, felt a bit premature and rushed — may have contributed to his inability to return to form faster than many were hoping.
As a result, Muncy hit the shelf again 10 days ago with elbow inflammation. It was perhaps a blessing in disguise, though. The slugger hasn’t been himself in 2022, and that much has been evident on both sides of the ball.
Arguably the Dodgers’ most valuable hitter three of the last four seasons, Muncy has been hitting .150 with a .591 OPS, 68 OPS+, three homers and 14 RBI across his first 41 games. Throw in some shaky defense and it just really hasn’t been good.
A reset featuring some rest and a rehab assignment might do the trick, though, because fans got to see a throwback Muncy BOMB on Tuesday night when he hit a walk-off two-run homer for the OKC Dodgers.
This is the guy everyone’s used to watching, and hopefully this is the beginning of the Shell of Muncy’s Former Self disappearing for good.
Dodgers fans will love seeing Max Muncy’s signature swing return at OKC
So why is this a “throwback”? Well, in case some fans forgot, Muncy’s true potential was discovered at Triple-A Oklahoma City, shortly after he came over from the Oakland A’s, where he couldn’t catch on.
Back in 2017, Muncy’s .309/.414/.491 slash line with 12 homers and 44 RBI in 110 games with OKC set the tone for his breakout 2018 campaign with the Dodgers.
It won’t be an overnight transition back to dominance, but perhaps this little reprieve will help Muncy rediscover his form that’s been lost since the end of 2021.
The Dodgers have been able to maintain dominance with a wild lack of production from him, so when he’s “back,” there will be no stopping LA’s offense … especially if he gains to the confidence to bring back the trash talk, too.