The Dodgers may be one small step closer to getting Joc Pederson back in time for Opening Day. Joc took some at-bats in a minor league game on the backfields on Sunday, and it sounds like it went well enough.
Dave Roberts said Joc Pedeson had five at-bats in five innings in a minor league game. Roberts said he’ll probably play in another minor league game before appearing in a Cactus League game.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) March 8, 2020
The key to this update is not how he hit or how he looked in the game at all. The most important thing is that Pederson had real-life at-bats and was able to walk away feeling healthy enough to keep going. The Dodgers will likely keep adding him into minor league games until he is ready for a Cactus League game.
Joc had been experiencing side soreness for a while. As a result, he did not pick up a bat with the Dodgers early in camp. Dave Roberts had said that the issue was more nagging than they initially thought, hence the drawn-out process of getting him back up to health.
If Joc is not ready to go by Opening Day, you can pencil in an outfield of Pollock, Bellinger, and Betts. There are several other guys on the roster that can play outfield as well, so depth is not necessarily hurt if Joc were not ready.
Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, and Matt Beaty are all guys from the big leagues last year that could slot into the outfield if needed. Zach McKinstry is also an interesting left-handed option that could be of use if Pederson were not ready to go.