A common reprise among the Dodgers fanbase since 2015 ended has been how Joc Pederson’s second half of the season went. Anytime his name is brought up we here about that unfortunate stretch where his swing fell completely off a cliff.
Then, Spring Training started and we heard the murmurs about his strikeouts and how lost he appeared as he tried out this new batting stance. Oddly enough, as he figured it out, those murmurs went away, but it wasn’t like compliments we all of a sudden heaping onto the centerfielder heading into just his second full season.
Well, thanks to the kind folks at Today’s Knuckleball, we finally found someone praising his turning it around to at least a certain extent.
You can’t argue with results, even—to an extent—in spring training. So when it comes to Joc Pederson’s new batting stance, well, thus far it’s gotten the Dodgers outfielder nothing but results, at least statistically speaking. In 34 spring training at-bats, Pederson has 12 hits, including a home run, and he’s slashing .353/.389/.500.
Now, the rest of the article asks whether Pederson making such a drastic change to his stance might be a net negative, as it might lead to over-tinkering at the plate, which is definitely a concern. I do think Pederson deserves credits for what he’s done this spring.
He was probably always going to start games slowly. If he hadn’t there might’ve been some concern that his adjustments weren’t large enough. What I take from Pederson’s spring is actually a larger point about how this team is looked at, for whatever reason.
Remember how I mentioned criticism fell away for silence earlier in this article? I find that somewhat frustrating. If we’re going to knock a player for a slow start (with a smaller sample size), we can’t then ignore said player turning things around or explain it away with “well, it’s just spring training”.
Maybe it’s just me, but criticism should remain fair and consistent and every so often, praising someone should be part of the equation.