A focal point for the Los Angeles Dodgers during the offseason was to upgrade defensively, which conceivably would help offset some of the offensive production lost with Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez no longer with the team.
Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins were acquired in separate trades and with Yasiel Puig moving back to right field, Joc Pederson earned the starting job in center field to further strengthen the Dodgers defense up the middle.
While Pederson has had the peaks and valleys expected at the plate for a player of his age and inexperience, he’s played a steady center field. The 23-year-old rookie turned in a diving catch in the exhibition Freeway series, a diving catch against the Seattle Mariners, and an assist on the young season.
Pederson added to his growing highlight reel in the first inning of Monday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants. With one out and Nori Aoki on first base after reaching on an infield single, Angel Pagan drove a ball to deep center that Pederson tracked down, crashed into the wall and started an inning-ending double play: