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Dodgers: Joc Pederson is Gone, But the Platoon Idea Will Remain in Left Field

Despite Joc Pederson’s departure, the plan sounds like it is to keep up with platoons.



The platoon idea has been something that has irked Dodgers fans for years. The idea of rotation guys in and out of the lineup based on which pitcher was in the game that day has bit Dave Roberts in the past, but it’s also worked. 

With Joc Pederson leaving Los Angeles via free agency, those days were thought to be over in left field. The general consensus was that the Dodgers would go with AJ Pollock as often as possible and that would be that.

But in a media call on Wednesday, it sure sounded like Dave Roberts is open to multiple guys out there. Joc is gone, but the Dodgers have an entire bench of guys that they can pair up with AJ out there moving forward. 

I expect AJ who has always hit righties, lefties to be out in left field. I know Chris Taylor does the same thing, so he’s going to need his at-bats. Then you kind of layer in Matt Beaty getting in some repetition some at-bats in left field which I feel really good about. Joc is a hard guy to replace, but I think it’s going to be a high-class problem to make sure these talented players get those at-bats out there. 

The truth is that even in a great 2020 season, Pollock did not hit right-handed pitching nearly as well. The same can be said of his 2019 season with the Dodgers as well. But to say that he absolutely destroyed southpaws would be an understatement, slashing .345/.367/.818 with a ridiculous 1.185 OPS last year. 

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So with those numbers in mind, it would make sense that Doc wants to keep up the platoon role. Matt Beaty was a little bit of a surprise to see mentioned, but he has hit right-handed pitching well. The Dodgers could also get more of Zach McKinstry out there as well, another guy who has hit righties. 

All of that to say, don’t expect the platoon to just disappear with Joc gone. The Dodgers are going to continue to play their matchups, perhaps now more than ever. 

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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. Baseball is a sport that lives on stats. I never have understood why fans don’t get why some players get platooned.
    Look at the splits! Many hitters have 100 point differences left vs right handed pitching. People say the player isn’t happy! So what they r making millions playing a game! Shut up and play! U get the added benefit of more players on your team able to play. Which makes for a happier clubhouse.

    • This is why…

      RHP Career Slash Lines for…
      Pollock .276 .335 .453 .788
      Taylor .268 .335 .445 .780
      Beaty .272 .324 .475 .799
      Joc .238 .349 .501 .849

      It made a little more sense for Joc to Platoon with Pollock, but not much difference with Taylor and Beaty. I think it makes sense to give Pollock some days off because he’s injury prone, but not a straight platoon.

      The flip side of platoons is that the hitter starts to get worse as he sees less same side pitching. Then in later innings you’re exposed on offense and defense when relievers come in and turn you around.

      • For sure here a player gets more consistent playing if he shows the ability to hit both sides of a pitcher. Many do struggle against one side of a pitcher. But then again, ya can’t play if ya don’t play more often than not.

    • Tmax, we have depth on this team which allows for getting other players AB’s. Yet its been said that both Kike and Joc wanted regular playing time, a main reason for them moving on. However , in Pollock’s case he has a noticeable split with RHP and LHP. But I don’t believe he should be automatically benced against RHP otherwise how can he do better against them if not allowed to face them? WSS.

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