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Dodgers: Joc Pederson Will No Longer Play First Base

Pederson has struggled mightily at first base defensively.

Dodgers
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 21: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 21, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Hallelujah. The ‘Joc Pederson, First Baseman’ experiment is over. For now.

According to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, Joc Pederson will move back to being a full-time outfielder with Cody Bellinger moving full-time to first base.

Rumors were that the Dodgers wanted Bellinger to receive a much-deserved Gold Glove in right field, but team performance far outweighs individual accolades.

Joc Pederson’s defense at first base in his short time there was lackluster to say the least. He posted an awful -3 defensive runs saved and committed 6 errors in just 20 games. Yikes.

This was always something that should have been an off-season experiment not one that took place in the middle of the summer.

Pederson continues to crush the ball and will most likely assume the platoon job in left field with Alex Verdugo playing full-time in right field.

Bellinger has been fantastic in past years with his defense at first base, posting positive defensive runs saved marks in all 3 seasons of his big league career. With Belli, however, comes concerns with the health of his right shoulder on diving attempts. He already dislocated it slightly earlier this season, but he is far and away the best defender at first on this team, and needs to resume his duties as a gold glove caliber 1B.

It’s over, folks. The defense is now the way it should be.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

11 Comments

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  1. Yeah, Pederson was a disaster at first, Roberts should have stopped that nonsense ages ago.
    Hmm, we’re losing Bellinger’s big arm & range in right. Not good.
    Maybe Beaty or Muncy should play first base.
    Beaty looks particularly comfortable there.

  2. I concur. Not sure why we would now move Bellinger from right field to first base. Beaty and Muncy both seem more than capable of handling first. We need Bellinger’s strong arm in the outfield. And when Joc plays, he can go back to left field where he is most comfortable. The first base experiment was, in fact, absurd from the beginning.

  3. The Dodgers seem extremely loyal to Joc, but truthfully he hasn’t shown much of late. They could have packaged him and a minor leaguer for some much needed relief pitching. How many years do we have to wait?

  4. Why did this change happen right after the deadline? Maybe Joc was being shopped as a versatile player who could plsy multiple positions?

  5. What makes you think that “Pederson continues to crush the ball”? He’s 3 for his last 21 ABs with a total of 3 multi-hit games in the month of July and only 3 HRs in July. His OPS in June and July was .569 and .657 respectively. There’s no way Roberts can continue to start him if he keeps “crushing” the ball like this.

  6. “Pederson continues to crush the ball”??? Is .232 really crushing the ball? In July he hit .200 with a .300 obp. And he’s an average (at best) outfielder. We’d be much leaving Belli in ref where he leads all ml outfielders in defensive runs saved and putting Beaty at first (if we really want to leave Muncy at second, which I’d prefer not to). I really hoped we’d trade Pederson for relief help, but just like with Barnes we seem to refuse to accept he’s reached his peak, and it’s just not that good.

  7. Daniel………Are you guys sure about this article??? Just because Pederson cannot play first base, I would not move Bellinger back to first……..I would continue to platoon Beaty, Freese, Hernandez and Muncy at first. Bellinger’s arm in right is too valuable to waste at first base. Why does the Dodger “brain trust” not see this????????

    • Bluz1st, I can answer that for you..because they lack something upstairs in I guess. I was at first against Bellinger being in RF but because of an earlier shoulder injury I thought Roberts and Co. was right in keeping Bellinger in RF, where he is Gold Glove caliber there as well, along with a great arm too. I don’t get why they want to take chances again but I will say this…if Bellinger injures his shoulder again playing 1st base, I am or will be through with Roberts and his puppet master upstairs.

  8. I agree Bellinger should stay in right. Beaty, Muncy, Freese and White at first. Beaty also in left and rotate Verdugo in all outfield positions. However, Houston will be hard to beat with their upgrade with pitching.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Moving Belli to 1st makes zero sense. All it does is weaken the outfield by subtracting his arm. Our FO’s decision making process is baffling at times.

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