Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Max Muncy Appears to Have Ditched the Step-Back in His Swing

Last year, Dodgers infielder Max Muncy started the season terribly, batting .160 with a .598 OPS through the team’s first 72 games as he battled the effects of the gruesome elbow injury he suffered at the end of the 2021 regular season. On a road trip to Colorado, Muncy was inspired by the batting approach of former Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, and he experimented with a “step-back,” where he would take a small step back with his left (back) foot as he loaded for his swing.

The results were immediate, and while Muncy wasn’t quite the same guy he’d been in previous years, he posted a .791 OPS the rest of the season and .886 over the final month. The step-back wasn’t without its issues — he missed time with soreness caused by the new mechanics — but it revived a terrible season and turned it into a decent one.

We got our first look this spring at Muncy batting against live pitching on Thursday, and it appears the step-back is gone.

In a way, this isn’t surprising. Muncy’s mechanical tweak was designed to compensate for his elbow injury, and now that he’s presumably fully healthy, it makes sense that the tweak is no longer needed. Of course, this is also just one at-bat in a spring intrasquad game, so we can’t even say for sure that he’s ditched it for good.

Regardless of the mechanics, a healthy and productive Muncy would be a huge boon for the Dodgers, who won 111 games in the regular season last year despite getting far less production from Max than they’d hoped. With Justin and Trea Turner both gone from this year’s lineup, Muncy picking up some of that slack would be a welcome sight.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


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