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Dodgers: Friedman Sheds Some Light on the Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez Departures

These 2 had some pretty good reasons



It’s a lot easier to nitpick decisions made when a team is playing as poorly as the Dodgers are. Every play made and every lineup decision gets thoroughly examined and scrutinized when things don’t go the way fans hope. 

With this horrendous stretch the Dodgers are in, fans have even looked back at the offseason to complain. Some have pointed to the dramatic change in personnel from the 2020 World Series team as a reason for this slide. 

The Dodgers losing Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez, in particular, hasn’t sat well with fans. Both were fan favorites and a big part of the clubhouse culture. But according to Andrew Friedman, their free agency departures were almost inevitable. He spoke with the LA Times this week about what led to not bringing them back. 

In Joc and Kiké’s situation, they both wanted to play every day, and the personnel we had didn’t allow for that. It also provided opportunities for Zack McKinstry to do what he did, until he got hurt. If we had Bellinger and McKinstry playing right now, people would at least feel that less — not feel less fondly about those guys, but not as acutely.

If the Dodgers were playing to their roster potential, there would be few questions about the decision to not re-sign them. But they’re not. Funny enough, having Joc’s .143 batting average and 49 OPS+ certainly wouldn’t make things better. 

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Kiké is having an okay season in Boston, but having him also helped block guys like Zach McKinstry. They also ended up getting arguably more money than the Dodgers were going to pay. It’s easy to go after decisions when a team is struggling, but those 2 weren’t going to change anything. 

Trust the guy that led this team to a World Series title in 2020. This will pass. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Look, I get what Freidman is saying here. But he could have been or done something more to obtain that RHB that both he and Roberts wanted during the off season. And he certainly could have tried a bit harder at upgrading the BP.

  2. He’s absolutely correct. They wanted to play full time and that wouldn’t happen with the Dodgers. I think the biggest miss may be Hernandez defense. But we were not expecting McKinstry to get hurt, Seager to forget how to field and Rios to forget how to hit.

  3. The problem isn’t those two being gone it’s the injuries to Bellinger and McKinstry along with terrible offensive depth and a shoddy bullpen. Both of those are on Friedman

    • the Dodgers slide began when Zach was injured, Betts came back from injury and Corey not hitting, fielding, etc. That’s why the Dodgers are where they are at the moment. Add to that injuries in the pen and now Dustin, and they got nowhere to go but up. and its coming. I might have signed Kike with the RHB and stellar D but he wanted to play everyday and get big bucks. Bosox gave him both. Last I looked Kike led the red sox in at bats!

      • And honestly his batting is STILL subpar. I’ll take McKinstry every day of the week over him. You are right though, this is a rough patch, we are weathering it and remaining in close proximity to first place… it’s a LONG season folks!

    • Because we had May, Price, Gonsolin. Who could foresee them all getting hurt at the same time? Our problems are not starting pitching, they are doing their job. Our problems are the offense and questionable defense at short.

    • Why exactly? Trust the guy that’s led them to multiple World Series? Who could foresee that Gonsolin, May, and Price would all be injured at the same time? Knebel was a good pitcher when he went down, Bellinger’s broken bone, McKinstry finally getting the playing time, only to get hurt. Even our vaunted depth is going to take a hit when ALL these things happen at the same time. Then the regression of Muncy and Seager, and the slow start by Betts… these are all things you just can’t magically foresee. Seems to me, Friedman has built up more trust than what you are giving.

      • Bumps, I pretty much agree w/ you. AF spent the money to get Bauer, thus going over the cap which prevented from pursuing the big RH bat. BP was an upgrade for the 13-2 start until injuries hit. Who would of thought the core group of guys all at once go into a funk together? Then the bench is suffering because of an injury to Z. Mck., and inexperience in PH’ing. I’m concerned the call-up talent is sub-par except for maybe Ruiz ( need to see more to evaluate), but the others are not ready for the big show. Although Joc and Kike shined in those situations, the Dodgers had to let them explore other options for benefit of their careers which I understand. DR and staff needs to figure it out and turn this around soon!

  4. I’m looking at the poor defense. In any sport if you play sub par defense, it rolls over to the overall subconscious of the team. Probably trying to hard at the plate. Along with pressing hard when their at bats come. Corey Seagate seems to be having concentration issues. Getting picked off at second tonight illustrates what I see. My humble opinion.

  5. No mention of the bullpen departures? For example what was the reasoning behind trading Floro for [email protected]? David Price has been useless as a Dodger. Kelly still hasn’t played anywhere near the money the Dodgers are giving him. And as for putting Pederson’s departure on him, let’s not forget it was Friedmen who tried trading him to the Angel’s before 2020.
    I mean, why would you give Barnes a contract, with the prospects the Dodger’s have at that position, and actively try to get rid of two players who have been important in the Dodgers success recently?

    • You do understand Barnes is Kershaw’s Personal Catcher and can also play around the infield? Joc looked like pure crud last year and it has continued this year. Who would you rather on the team Dylan Floro or Justin Turner? David Price was, lets just say the Price for Mooookie Betts. Joe Kelly, well no argument there your dead on! but come on even Geniuses’ have bad days. Sometimes just have patients, baseball is a 162 game marathon, you can’t sprint the entire way or you may get a cramp. The Dodgers are having cramps right now nothing big so lets give them time to work through it.

      • I’d rather have last years bullpen (Kolarek, McGee, Floro and Baez) than one Justin Turner. But that’s a bullsh*t choice to begin with. The Dodger’s decided to hell with the luxury tax when they signed Baurer, so your analogy is, like the rest of your azz-kissing logic, completely full of sh*t. Pederson was arguably the best hitter the Dodgers had in the post-season. Hernandez was one of the most clutch hitters in the league. When was the last time Barnes played at an infield position? Kershaw gets $35 million year to pitch to whoever the Dodgers want to play catcher, (see A.J. Ellis). The “Genius” (which is too funny) responsible, for the Dodger’s success is currently employed by the First Place SF Giants.

  6. There’s an issue with the quality of play from those credentialed players who are not injured. That’s fixable and Roberts needs to be all over that. Replacement players are hit and miss; perhaps somebody will evolve…we’ve got that potential with Santana and Cleavinger. Regardless we all get to do the big frustrating wait.

  7. Problem is keeping Barnes on bench when he’s our best catcher for calling a game I know Will is our future but not right now.sure Smith is better offensively but put him at first base or third any catcher can lay those two positions and even have better offensive numbers. Smith still not ready

  8. A lot of teams championship teams didn’t have a Johnny Bench or Gary Carter as catchers but had good game callers that made their pitchers pitch better games. Kershaw knows this that’s why he chooses Barnes as his permanent catcher but Roberts and Friedman only think offensive numbers

  9. My opinion is the previous team members got to the world series. If it wasn’t broke why fix it? Jock Peterson and Kike Hernandez are playing better baseball, being in the every day line up. But overall Kike kept the team moral what it should be. Having fun. I’m deeply hurt by Kike’s departure. I hope that all your expert opinions get us to another world series, if not you’ll only have yourself to blame.

  10. As I have said earlier, just don’t panic. Go to God in prayer and be patient. Go to God in prayer as a team with Dave Roberts leading.

  11. Think about this for a moment – LA has a 13-0 lead on the Angels and has to sweat pulling out
    a win? These guys are way too good to not be playing sound baseball. Seager getting picked
    off at second is rock bottom. Not the way to be playing in your free agent year.

    I realize injuries are part of the game but with this many players going down it makes me wonder
    has LA changed conditioning systems.

  12. A lot of great input concerning every aspect of the Dodgers decline, but with a long season still ahead, I think that we should wait and see how the current team, lineup, will get their selfs together and we all know that the injured guys will come back soon, then we will be back at full strength.
    The guys have the opportunity to prove themselves NOW, and not depend on help from the guys that can’t help right now,… IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!!

  13. Born in LA, I grew up in Sunnyvale CA (norcal) listening to Vin & Jerry on the transistor radio, circa 1959 fading in and out on KFI. After quite a few excited early years during the spring and summer, I remember my dad always saying, “wait for September”. Sage advise from RF. I tell myself to “breathe and be patient.”

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