Dodgers fans know that playoff Joc Pederson has the potential to really be the difference-maker in a series. Time after time, Joc seems to come through when it matters most in October.
As it turns out, that success is what has led Dave Roberts to keep giving him opportunities in 2020. Joc is back in the Dodgers lineup today against the Angels, and the team is still hopeful that he can get locked in. But if he can’t, it sounds like there’s a chance that he’s not part of the playoff picture at all.
Joc’s had some things that he’s dealt with off of the field that certainly occupy his mind at times, and rightfully so. I just want to give him every opportunity to try to get locked in. And after tomorrow, then we’ll sort of make a decision. Because at the end of the day, we’ve got to go with the guys that we feel give us the best chance to win.
He didn’t exactly say that Joc could be left off of the roster, but playoffs aren’t a time to let a guy find his swing. If Joc can’t get things going over the next few days, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him left off of the Dodgers wildcard roster.
Pederson has obviously had a difficult year both on and off of the field. He’s already had to leave the team for a family medical emergency, and it’s likely that he will have to do so again at some point. It’s tough as it is to be a successful ballplayer at this level, but add in the stress of whatever is going on off of the field, and it’s close to impossible. The Dodgers have certainly missed his productive bat in the lineup knowing how lethal he can be.
For 2020, Joc is slashing .183/.277/.374 with 6 homeruns. His OPS of .651 would be by far the worst mark of his career in arguably the biggest season of his career. Pederson is set to hit free agency after 2020, and it doesn’t seem likely that the Dodgers would try to resign him at this point.