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Dodgers Dave Roberts Takes Action on Joc Pederson

Joc gets benched after not hustling on a ground out.

Anyone with a Twitter account has seen (or participated in) the pile on that Joc Pederson has received for his defensive play at first base. The defense overall in the past 30 or so games has been pretty terrible. Our own Clint Pasillas recently dove into this problem here.

Tonight, the pile on may have gotten even higher.

Joc Pederson was benched in the 8th inning for not running out a ground ball.

Manager Dave Roberts spoke on the benching.

You gotta run the ball out. There’s a certain way to play the game. I didn’t see the effort there.

Give a little credit to Joc Pederson for addressing his own failure to hustle right after the game. Everyone is human after all, and it’s not easy to recognize the error of your ways so quickly. This however, may just be the icing on a terrible cake.

In terms of continued defensive struggles, Roberts again took the high road when speaking about continued issues.

When asked if “defensive miscues can be contagious,” he had this to say.

We pride ourselves on being sure handed and we’re just not making plays that we’ve made consistently. I don’t have an explanation for it.

Joc And A Hard Place

In defense of Joc Pederson, it wasn’t his idea to move to first base. With the crowded talent of outfielders, he was told to play a new position if he wanted to get at bats. I am fairly certain no Dodger fan can place blame on Joc for giving it his best effort. The problem is that changing positions isn’t an easy thing to do in the middle of the season, especially if you’ve never played that position.

To simplify what the consensus of opinions is on this, here it is: This was a fine idea worth trying (especially with such a large division lead) but it’s gotten out of hand, gotten uglier, and not been worth the struggles. Defense is a team effort as much as it is individual, and it can wear on a team. It very clearly has.

Trade Bait?

It’s also been pondered as to whether showcasing Joc Pederson’s ‘positional versatility’ has been a ploy to increase his trade value. Needless to say, this hasn’t really helped that case. However, Joc is still a serviceable outfielder, and when he’s hot at the plate–he’s a RHP nightmare.

Realistically, a trade that the Dodgers would be looking at would involved more than just Joc Pederson. Still, defensive blunders and a low effort benching aren’t the best look. Errors at first base from Joc Pederson are likely to continue if the experiment also continues, but I seriously doubt we’ll see low effort from Joc Pederson again. Joc may struggle with many things, but he’s always given his best. It’s more likely that being forced to play a foreign position has affected Joc, affected his trade value, and affected the Dodgers overall defense.

Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers fan who grew up in California. His whole family are also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, daughter, beagle, and strat.

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  1. Trying to put Joc at first to keep him in the lineup is in itself a dumb idea. He is a career .230 hitter with a paltry .338 OBP. he has had 5 years to prove he can hit Major League pitching. He has proven that he is a below average hitter with power. He is at best a below average outfield platoon player, and that’s all he will ever be. His lifetime slash is .181/9/.261/.306 in 248 games vs left handed pitching means he is useless against lefties and will only play vs right handed pitching. It’s time to cut bait.

  2. A team like the Indians that is desperate for outfield help might take Joc. They are reportedly shopping the talented, but enigmatic Trevor Bauer. Pederson and a pitching prospect like Dennis Santana might get a deal done.

    • Why does everyone seem to think the Indians are selling they’ve been one of If not the hottest team over the last 2 months. Look where they find themselves now, just 2 out of the division after being buried

  3. Joc is just one of the symptoms of the Dodgers second half struggles! This team looks lost and disinterested. That 14 game lead could disappear in a heartbeat! The schedule is not getting any easier with Cards, Braves and Yankees coming up and lost more with the Rocks, DBacks and surging Giants!

    • Joc is an outfielder, plain and simple. He does not appear to have the versatility of some of our other players. And putting Joc at first base was an experiment (for whatever reason) that has gone mad. Although Joc has power, his bat is incredibly unreliable. I believe that Joc is just part of a bigger issue….our Dodgers are in a bit of a slump right now…..and we have looked pretty lackluster and fatigued (especially with compromised defense these past few games.) As for the 14 game lead diminishing….I am not ready to panic (yet) as long as our slumps continue to be short-lived. My focus remains on improving our bull pen. Do what it will reasonably take to get that “lights out” reliever (s) by tomorrow who can be relied on to also cover that 9th inning as needed.

    • It seems to me that this 1st base experiment is a front office move. They have a 1st baseman playing in right field and an outfielder playing 1st base. It is suppose to keep Bellinger from getting hurt, but outfield play is more dangerous then the corner infield positions are.

  4. This is BS they can put Beaty at first and leave Job in left if they want to. Also Verdugo is a better glove in center than Pollock cut the shit .

    • I agree, Luis. I’ve been saying the exact same thing.
      Pederson is much better in the OF, and I think playing 1st has hurt his offense as well
      Beaty seems solid anywhere, and Verdugo tracks the ball much better than Pollack and has a great arm.
      Roberts needs to grasp the obvious much quicker than he has so far.The sooner the better. He;s too concerned about keeping everyone happy rather than putting the best team on the field night after night.

      All this moving guys around is hurting team production & cohesion.
      Waiting until October is a fool’s game.

      • Jon, while I agree with how this shuffling around is hurting the offense and team cohesion, remember that the BP is not the only problem ion this team. Dodgers are still vulnerable to LHP, and with Kike and Taylor out right now we need some RH bats to fill the void.

    • I agree. Verdugo is a better Centerfielder than Pollack. Put Pollack in LF. Defense miscues started with Pollacks return. Get Joc in there to rest Pollack and Verdugo.

  5. Easy to place blame on other.. a Roberts trademark… he the fool that did it.. he is to blame.. i keep saying get rid you Roberts!!!!!

    • Been saying that for a loooong time. He management skills or lack of has cost us more games than won. A BIG joke when he tries to outmanage the opposing manager and his lineups and use of the pen is a huge joke./

    • Lol…simpleton. nothing is that black and white,…it’s all shades of grey and they all have a boss. A manager doesn’t showcase players and their expected versatility…he’s and owners do. And joc doesn’t fit the mold.

  6. I was under the impression that old man Chase Utley was in the organization still. Wouldn’t be a bad time to have him (and his hustle) gleam down on the young guys right now for some motivation. He’s gone from a low man on the totum pole to an all star to a bench role. The kids need his aura. Just my opinion

  7. Joc is certainly someone Dodgers can move in a deal with a couple prospects not named Lux and May. Joc is NOT hitting enough at all to warrant this continued experiment at first base. Again the Dodger pitcher had to make additional pitches due to another error made on a play most 1st baseman make routinely. His defense is hurting this team for sure.

  8. Kudos to Dave Roberts for calling out Joc on his lackadaisical play. Its one thing to make a fielding error; its quite another not to show hustle. Hopefully, Joc learned his lesson. Now, lets make a deal for a RH bat, and a solid relief pitcher. Go Blue!!!

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