As has been widely reported this past week, Joc Pederson has been using the bats of former Dodgers clutch legend Andre Ethier.
Over the past three games, Pederson has gone 6-for-8 with FIVE home runs, a double that almost left the yard, seven runs, and nine runs batted in. This stretch has been absurd and has powered the Dodgers’ offense against Colorado. It’s safe to say that Pederson will likely win National League Player of the Week.
Is Pederson’s usage of the bats and one of the best sets of seven at-bats the game has ever seen a pure coincidence? Probably. However, it is a lot more fun to say it is NOT a coincidence and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged the fun in a recent appearance with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) September 6, 2019
Andre Ethier’s Impact
One of the streakiest hitters in the league, Joc Pederson, is on a VERY hot streak at the moment. The power display could be fueled by Ethier’s bats and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has taken notice:
“Andre [Ethier] sent him a couple bats and he’s caught fire!”
While it might be far-fetched, it cannot just be due to pure coincidence. Right?
Roberts on Joc’s Offense
Joc’s recent display received rave reviews from Roberts and he also justified why Pederson continues to bat leadoff despite a good chunk of fan disagreement:
“All kidding aside, Joc is certainly an impact player and with him against right-handed pitching, you look at him and his .900 plus OPS. Hitting him at the top with a right-hander to give him three cracks is a good thing for the Dodgers. When he can take the walk and put the barrel to it, it’s probably going to be a homer. When he is hot, he is as good as anybody and it makes our lineup that much longer and tougher to navigate.”
While the logic is there, Joc’s power continues to be his calling card. Getting him more at-bats when he is hot is a good thing, but when he is cold, he is a liability batting leadoff. His on-base percentage simply does not justify it and with his power, he probably should be batting closer to the middle of the order for the Dodgers.
Roberts on Joc’s Attitude and Defense
Recently, the Dodgers shuffled their outfield around with AJ Pollock moving from center to left, Cody Bellinger moving to center with Alex Verdugo on the injured list, and Joc Pederson moving to right field. According to Dave Roberts, Pederson has made his job a lot easier:
“Joc’s willingness to move from left field to right field to open up Cody [Bellinger] in center field, versatility, and unselfishness makes my job a lot easier.”
Although Joc seems to be the streakiest hitter on the planet at times, let’s just enjoy the wave.