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Dodgers notes: Max Muncy, Jake Marisnick, Dalton Rushing

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Friday brought us mailbag answers, so let’s start Saturday with various Dodgers-related stories from around the baseball world.

Max Muncy has had an up-and-down season, and even though he’s shown signs of turning things around, it’s been quite a toll on the Dodgers third baseman, writes Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic. “Maybe it’s a mental thing,” Muncy told Ardaya. “Maybe it’s something other than that. But I know I’m still a good hitter, and it’s just trying to find ways to get back to that.”

On new Dodgers outfielder Jake Marisnick, who was on the Astros in 2017, Clayton Kershaw said (per Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register), “For some reason, I don’t get as mad at him because he wasn’t in the lineup – selfishly, I guess. He didn’t really affect me. At least it’s not one of the other guys, I guess.”

Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times provided a “second half” primer in the form of five questions about the Dodgers.

Dalton Rushing is the only Dodger listed in the Baseball Prospectus top 50 prospects at midseason, rocketing all the way up to 23rd. Pitcher Nick Frasso is just outside the top 50, at No. 51 overall. Among the “why he might fail” section for Rushing (which is shorter than the “why he’ll succeed” section): “There’s a shade more hit tool concern for us as well, as High-A breakers have induced a bit more swing-and-miss than expected.”

Dodgers pitcher Payton Martin, just two months from turning 19, is turning heads with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, with a 2.04 ERA and 48 strikeouts with only 15 walks in 39... innings in his pro debut. The team’s 17th-round draft pick out of high school was named among the standouts from the youngest players in the California League by Josh Norris at Baseball America.

Kyle Glaser at Baseball America talked to Martin, who went from 91-93 mph in high school to 94-96 mph now and topping out at 98. From Glaser:

Martin’s performance would be impressive in any context, but it’s especially noteworthy given his limited pitching background. Martin primarily played shortstop in high school and was committed to East Carolina as a shortstop. He pitched a handful of innings in relief his junior year and made six starts on the mound as a senior, the only starts of his high school career.

Earlier in the week, Ray Ratto at Defector wrote about the demise of the New York Times sports desk, which once seemed unthinkable but in this business has sadly become more of the norm: “They are exchanging a money drain for a money suck and passing it as a necessary economy for a changing world, when in fact all it was was the Times turning more into less with an idea toward turning it into nothing at all, because all the dough is tied up in real estate anyway.”