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Dodgers Notes: Paxton, Muncy, Cartaya, Frasso

James Paxton tossed 96 innings with the Red Sox last season, marking his go back to rather routine action after injuries restricted him to 21 2/3 major league frames in 2020-21 and no innings at all in 2022.  Paxton’s return year was then generally 2 seasons in one — the outstanding 2.76 period he published over his very first 56 innings, followed by an unsightly 6.98 period in his last 40 innings of work.

As Paxton informs Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, “I felt like I kind of reached a point where my body was just a little burned out.  I didn’t have much left in the tank.”  Paxton kept pressing considering that the Red Sox were still on the fringes of the playoff race, and had a hard time in specific as soon as he was relocated to a routine turn of 4 days’ rest in between starts.

Early in the season, I had a lot of extra rest, and then we went to a shorter leash.  Coming off a surgery and that much time off, I wasn’t conditioned for that,” Paxton stated.  “If you start off going [every five days] your body gets accustomed to that, whereas if you go six all the time, that’s what your body gets accustomed to.  We’re creatures of habit.”

Despite the rough surface to his season, Paxton still landed $7MM from the Dodgers on a one-year totally free representative agreement, even if that $7MM overall dropped from a preliminary $11MM warranty due to some issues the group had about his general health.  The 35-year-old lefty is enthusiastic that getting some innings under his belt last season will much better assist him handle the length of the 2024 project, plus L.A. will release “somewhat of a six-man rotation,” according to assistant pitching coach Connor McGuinness.  The concept is to keep all of the Dodgers’ hurlers fresh and healthy, plus some other supports in Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May might sign up with the pitching mix after the middle of the season.

Whereas Paxton’s 2023 season was generally divided in 2, Max Muncy’s year was a bit more of a roller-coaster before he completed a quite normal year of production.  The infielder struck .212/.333/.475 over 579 plate looks while matching his profession high of 36 crowning achievement, equating to a 118 wRC+.  Los Angeles was amazed sufficient to sign Muncy to a brand-new agreement extension, ensuring him $24MM through 2025 while likewise adding a $10MM club choice on his services for 2026.

Muncy’s dish of homers, strolls, low averages, and high strikeouts is quite set, however as he enters his age-33 season, Muncy feels he has more to use as a protective gamer.  He informed press reporters (consisting of Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register) that his offseason routine consisted of cutting 15 pounds and focusing more on versatility training.

It was just making sure my feet move a little bit more, and getting the knees healthy.  Last year, I had a little trouble with just not staying down on the ball,” Muncy stated.  “I was coming up out of my fielding stance and everything.  And when you’re doing that, it’s hard to read the hops and I kept putting myself in bad positions last year with bad hops….So the focus was just making sure that my feet stay moving.  Just allowing myself to read the ball and make moves on it.”

There’s generally no place to go however up for Muncy defensively, as the general public protective metrics (-7 Outs Above Average, -3 Defensive Runs Saved, -14.8 UZR/150) were all not impressed with his 3rd base glovework in 2023.  The relocate to basically a full-time 3rd base function has actually come as the Dodgers have actually brought super star skill into Muncy’s other positions — Shohei Ohtani is now secured at DH, Freddie Freeman initially base, and Mookie Betts is now moving into  daily 2nd base task.

I’ve been very open about how I want to stay here for the rest of my career….So if I want to play here, I need to make sure I’m in the field, and the best way to do that is just put myself in a good spot,” Muncy stated.

In other Dodgers news, GM Brandon Gomes informed Plunkett and other press reporters that capturing possibility Diego Cartaya has actually been handling a back issue however the “full expectation” is that Cartaya will be set for the start of the Double-A season.  Back issues have actually troubled Cartaya in the past, and the last thing the catcher requires is an injury problem as he seeks to recover from a challenging season.  A top-20 possibility in the sport heading into the 2023 project, Cartaya struck just .189/.278/.379 over 403 PA at Double-A last season, dropping his stock as a prospective catcher of the future.

Nick Frasso is another top-100 possibility taking a look at a lost year, as he was currently anticipated to miss out on the 2024 season after going through shoulder surgical treatment back in November.  Gomes included that Frasso likewise had a “clean-up” surgical treatment on his ideal hip labrum, though it doesn’t look like though this 2nd treatment will affect the right-hander’s timeline.  If all works out, Gomes believes Frasso will have the ability to pitch in the Arizona Fall League.


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