SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers wanted a little more power out of their left-handed third base option with Logan Forsythe sidelined with right shoulder inflammation, so on Tuesday they promoted Max Muncy from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Muncy signed with the Dodgers last season and hit .309/.414/.491 with 20 doubles and 12 home runs in 109 games for Oklahoma City, and started this season 10-for-32 (.313/.421/.563) with two home runs and two doubles in Triple-A before the call up. He saw time mostly at third base and first base last year but also mixed in time at second base and both outfielder corners.
“Third and first is where he thrives, and I really like him in the box,” manager Dave Roberts said.
That mirrors what Muncy said during spring training, when he was a non-roster invitee in big league camp.
“The position I like most is hitting,” Muncy said in February. “As long as they get me out there in the field it doesn’t matter where I’m at.”
Muncy started his first six games this season at first base before playing third on Saturday. After Forsythe was removed from Saturday’s major league game, the Dodgers had Muncy play two more games at the hot corner with Oklahoma City before calling him up.
Breyvic Valera, who was recalled in the interim, was 0-for-1 with a walk in his two appearances as a pinch hitter. He was optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday to make room for Muncy.
“Once we lost Logan we wanted to bring somebody quickly, and Valera was very versatile. We wanted to give Max some days at third base to get comfortable, knowing we had Kikè Hernandez and Kyle Farmer for coverage.”
Roberts said Muncy will start at third base in Wednesday’s series finale against Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo, who returns from suspension. Muncy might also start Friday night when the Dodgers open their three-game weekend series at home against the Nationals, facing Max Scherzer.
“I’ll fit in wherever they want me to fit in,” Muncy said Tuesday. “I offer a left-handed bat and defensive versatility. That’s what I’m going for right now.”
Muncy found out the news of his potential call-up on Monday night, after Oklahoma City won its third straight walk-off, in extra innings. The team was preparing for a roughly six-hour, overnight bus ride to Texas to begin a road trip.
“We were packing up the bags and the manager called me aside and said, ‘You’re not going on the bus tonight, you might be going up,” Muncy recalled. “Either way you’re going to have a plane flight tomorrow to either Round Rock or San Diego.’”
Muncy, 27, played parts of 2015 and 2016 with the Athletics, hitting .195/.290/.321 in 245 plate appearances. Now, he’s back in the majors, at least until Forsythe returns from the disabled list.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time getting the call or your 30th time, it’s always excitement getting back to the big leagues,” Muncy said.
For the record, this is Muncy’s eighth call-up to the majors.