The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost four of five games to the San Francisco Giants and need a win Wednesday to avoid dropping consecutive series to their longtime rival. Facing Madison Bumgarner for the second time in a week, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly opted to sit several of his regular starters who bat left-handed Tuesday.
Not only are said players back in the lineup Wednesday, but Mattingly has also shuffled the deck. For the first time this season, Jimmy Rollins will not bat leadoff as he’s been unseated by rookie center fielder Joc Pederson, up significantly from the eighth spot he’s regularly been placed in. Rollins bats second in the lineup.
Whether the change is temporary or more longterm remains to be seen. Pederson is batting .296/.458/.556 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 20 games (18 starts); his .458 on-base percentage ranks third in the National League. The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise given Rollins’ slow start of the gate.
The 36-year-old shortstop said recently he hasn’t paid much attention to his .182/.281/.299 batting line and believes success is around the corner. Rollins is a career .252/.314/.379 hitter in 357 games where he’s started and batted second.
Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick remain slotted in the top half of the order, though they’ve been switched with Kendrick batting third and Gonzalez cleanup. Scott Van Slyke bats fifth to split left-handers Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, who hits sixth.
Additionally, Yasmani Grandal and Juan Uribe have been dropped to seventh and eighth, respectively, giving the lineup more depth in the bottom of the order. Uribe is riding a 10-game hitting streak and has his averages up to a more respectable .275/.315/.353, which has quieted some of the calls for him to be replaced by Alex Guerrero.
Zack Greinke starts for the Dodgers and bats ninth. While the majority of Greinke’s impact is made from the mound, he’s a Silver Slugger Award-winner, but has just one hit in 12 plate appearances this season.
Zack Greinke Discusses Length Of Dodgers And Rockies Lineups