first_img Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ “He’s always steadily on the incline when it comes to growth in any way: baserunning, at the plate, defense,” Woodward said of Muncy. “He’s very intelligent and he’s very calm. He’s got a very, very low heart rate. You can see it in those big at-bats. He doesn’t care about the moment. I think the next step on defense is to transfer that. You’re not going to be fully confident when you haven’t played, and second base isn’t an easy position to play anyways.”Muncy said he’s struggled to avoid the temptation of looking at the runner while fielding the ball – something else that can’t be practiced before a game when there are no runners. His most important practice, then, will come during the games. It is a less than ideal concession the Dodgers are willing to make.KERSHAW TO START THURSDAYManager Dave Roberts said left-hander Clayton Kershaw is penciled in to start Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. Saturday, in his first start since he suffered a back injury in May, Kershaw allowed two runs in three innings against the New York Mets.Kershaw threw a bullpen session Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. He is 1-4 with a 2.94 earned-run average in nine starts this season.Left-hander Jose Quintana (6-6, 4.26 ERA) is scheduled to start the game for the Cubs.INJURY UPDATESChris Taylor said his tight left hamstring has improved to “80 to 85” percent. Roberts said it would take “something really extreme, great improvement” for the shortstop to return to the starting lineup Tuesday.Taylor has made three plate appearances, all as a pinch hitter, since he suffered the injury June 20 in Chicago. He homered Monday night in the eighth inning, his ninth of the season. …Pitcher Julio Urías threw a bullpen last week and was clocked throwing fastballs in the upper 80-mph range, Roberts said. The left-hander is expected to throw two bullpens this week. Urías had surgery on his left anterior shoulder capsule in May 2017. …Right-handed reliever Pedro Baez (right biceps tendinitis) and left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani (left shoulder strain) will each throw bullpens this week, Roberts said.ALSOMatt Kemp (1,498,827) is second to Nick Markakis (1,829,276) among National League outfielders in the latest All-Star balloting update released by Major League Baseball. … The top three outfielders will start the game July 14 in Washington D.C. … First baseman Cody Bellinger (fourth), second baseman Logan Forsythe (fifth), third baseman Justin Turner (fifth) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (fifth) are all in the top five at their respective positions. … Yasiel Puig is featured on the latest cover of ESPN The Magazine’s annual “Body Issue.” … Roberts said “I kind of just glossed over” the cover. … Dodgers prospect Rylan Bannon, an outfielder at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, was chosen as the California League Player of the Week for the second time in June.UP NEXTDodgers (RHP Ross Stripling, 6-2, 1.99 ERA) vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Jon Lester, 9-2, 2.10 ERA), SportsNet LA (where available), SportsNet LA (where available), ESPN (out of market only)Related Articles Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day And since game speed isn’t something that can be practiced, growing pains were inevitable.“You’ve got the adrenaline going,” Muncy said. “You’re deciding what play you need to make. I don’t know how you simulate that.”The Dodgers have a powerful incentive to take the bad with the good. Their outfield is stacked. Their catching depth is ample. They have offensive upside at every infield position except second base, where the Logan Forsythe-Chase Utley tandem ranks near the bottom of MLB in several offensive categories at the position.Muncy began the day leading the Dodgers in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. If he can play an adequate second base, Muncy could solve the lineup’s most glaring offensive weakness with simplicity.Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward, who also coaches the team’s infielders, said Muncy has already mastered the basics – the things that can be practiced. He thinks the rest will come in time. Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury LOS ANGELES — A potential double-play ball trickled toward the Dodgers’ second baseman on Friday night. Max Muncy had time to get two outs, certainly one, but the confluence of baseball and baserunner was too much to bear in the moment. Muncy bobbled the ball, the play resulted in no outs, and the New York Mets ended up with runners at first and third in the eighth inning.On Monday, Muncy got his fourth major league start at second base. His first was on June 12. There have been some growing pains in between, but every repetition helps. One batter after his unsightly error Friday, Muncy was the middle man on a 6-4-3 double play that ended the inning.“The biggest thing for me was not trying to be too quick with it,” he said. “That’s where I’ll get myself in trouble: trying to be too quick with certain plays you have to make at second base. Other than that, I feel really comfortable over there.”Muncy didn’t get many reps at second base in spring training. He didn’t play the position at all at Triple-A Oklahoma City before he was recalled by the Dodgers on April 17. Muncy played some second base in years past, but he said the position did not return to him like the skill of riding a bicycle.last_img