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Max Muncy on Dodger Stadium batter’s eye: ‘It’s something we have to get used to’

Muncy is still day-to-day, but said Wednesday, “We’re feeling pretty good about being ready for opening day.”

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Max Muncy said he hasn’t yet tried to grip a bat since getting hit by a pitch on his left ring finger in an intrasquad game Sunday, and that the Dodgers are taking things slowly.

“It hurts, but it’s doing good,” Muncy said Wednesday on a Zoom call with reporters, with his finger wrapped. “It’s not as bad as what it could have been, thankfully.”

He said he never saw the ball that hit him, while trying to adjust to the some of the changes in Dodger Stadium, including the batter’s eye in center field.

“It’s different than what we’ve had here. It’s something we have to get used to,” Muncy said. “I know pitchers are pretty happy about the batter’s eye out there.”

Muncy is day-to-day, and not in either lineup in the Dodgers’ Wednesday night intrasquad game. He said that if this was the regular season or playoffs that he would play. “We’re feeling pretty good about being ready for opening day,” he said.

“I think the time of day mattered, but for Max to say he couldn’t see the ball because of the background is a little unsettling,” manager Dave Roberts said on a conference call.

Catcher Will Smith said Tuesday he hasn’t seen a huge difference in the batter’s eye either batting or behind the plate.

“If anything, it may be a little higher or wider, if you get a sidearm thrower or something, especially without the fans with those yellow seats out there,” Smith explained, “but it’s something we have to deal with and the other team will have to deal with it, and I don’t think it’s unfair in any way.”

Dodger Stadium, 2019
Photo: Eric Stephen
MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts
Dodger Stadium, 2020
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Roberts said the team is open to adjusting the batter’s eye if it continues to pose a sight problem for players.

“It’s a process to kind of see what works for the hitters,” Roberts said. “What we want is fair play. So I think that is something that our guys are really open to as far as hearing or listening to the players and try to figure out what gives him the best chance to see the baseball. What you don’t want is a player not to be able to see to now put him in harm’s way.”

Minor leaguers on injured list

On Wednesday the Dodgers placed pitcher Edwin Uceta and outfielders Cody Thomas and Zach Reks on the injured list. The catch is none of those three are on the 40-man roster.

As was the case for the seven players on the 40-man roster who haven’t yet reported to camp, the injuries for Uceta, Thomas, and Reks could not be revealed by the team.

“I know that they are on the injured list, but I can’t disclose anything,” Roberts said.

That leaves only 41 players from the Dodgers’ player pool actually in camp, out of 51. Players on the COVID-19 related injured list don’t count toward the total, but we don’t know if any of the 10 players missing from camp are on the COVID-19 injured list because the team hasn’t been able to disclose their injuries.

Roberts did say the Dodgers plan to add players from within the organization to the player pool soon.