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Dodgers notes: Max Muncy’s rebound, Julio Urías pitching for Mexico

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MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers are a team well known for taking gambles on signing players who have had previous success within their career before having it plagued by injuries. The same is now true for one of their premiere power hitters and household name for Dodgers fans, who is looking to revamp his prowess at the dish for this revamped offense.

Max Muncy, who at one point looked as if the window had closed on his MLB career back in 2017, has seen the apex of being one of the game’s best hitters and the shortcomings of dealing with obstacles outside of his control. His resilience, as Fabrian Ardaya of The Athletic notes, is embodied in his ability to overcome and play through a season-ending elbow injury in 2021 and to abandon his primary position after the Dodgers signed Freddie Freeman last March.

After posting relatively poor offensive numbers in comparison to his previous four combined seasons with L.A., Muncy finished the season on a high note to close the last two months of the regular season.

Ardaya gives a close look at the tweaks Muncy made to salvage what looked to be a lost season:

So he resorted to the equivalent of a Band-Aid. A stray observation in a Coors Field batting cage led him to try something unorthodox — taking a half-step back with his left foot as the pitch was delivered to the plate — in order to lock things into place. The adjustment was patchwork, yet effective: Only 23 qualified hitters had a higher OPS over the season’s final two months than Muncy’s .858 mark.

With Muncy in a lineup that includes MVP caliber players in Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, it can be easy for fans to not consider Muncy as one of the elite hitters within all of baseball, let alone the National League.

Ardaya details how manager Dave Roberts feels about Muncy being overshadowed and his confidence in the slugger to handle the doubt:

“He’s not blind to people, in his mind, writing him off for 2023,” Roberts said of Muncy. “He’s a player that works better when he’s got a chip on his shoulder. So I do think for this year, he feels as though he’s the forgotten man. That’s a good thing for the Dodgers.”