Prior to being called up Sept. 1, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Joc Pederson and the group of prospects wouldn’t get much playing time as the Dodgers are locked in a pennant race.
Instead, Mattingly said, specifically for Pederson, he’d be used in various situations, but would still benefit from getting a taste of playing at the Major League level. However, that plan has been altered.
With Yasiel Puig stuck in a slump, Pederson has started three games since joining the Dodgers. Although Pederson has yet to have much of an impact, Mattingly didn’t rule out the young outfielder making the postseason roster, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
There’s a possibility of that.”
Pederson is just 2-for-12 with six strikeouts, which isn’t completely uncommon for a player making his MLB debut. However, Pederson has a trend of frequently striking out — he did so 149 times this season with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Nonetheless, Mattingly remains confident success will come for the young outfielder:
I’m not afraid to say it: I think he’s going to hit,” Mattingly said. “I think he’s going to be a good player.”
Given that he hasn’t spent much time on the bases, Pederson hasn’t put his ability to swipe a bag on display. En route to being named the Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player, Pederson stole 30 bases and hit 33 home runs — becoming the first PCL player to reach the 30-30 plateau in 80 years.
Last season, the Dodgers carried Dee Gordon on the roster simply in a pinch-runner role. Pederson could fill a similar role this year, though with the added threat of being able to do damage with his bat.
Should Pederson be given a spot on the postseason roster, Andre Ethier would likely be the outfielder left off. So long as he’s healthy, Carl Crawford is the unquestioned starter in left field and Scott Van Slyke has value in his ability to pinch-hit against left-handers.
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