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Dodgers: With Max Muncy’s Struggles, Joc Pederson Could See More Time at Leadoff



The Dodgers are going to mix up their leadoff hitters depending on who the pitcher is on any given day. Manager Dave Roberts already made it clear that it would mostly be Max Muncy and Mookie Betts. Those two would rotate depending on the handedness of the starting pitcher. 

But as of late, Max Muncy has not looked like himself. After going hitless in Monday’s game against the Padres, Muncy is now hitting just .200 on the year. He also has just 2 hits in his last 16 at-bats. With Joc Pederson going deep on his first at-bat on Monday, the question had to be asked whether or not he deserved more time in the leadoff spot. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that it could be a real possibility. 

Joc spent the majority of 2019 batting in the leadoff spot. He hit 33 of his 36 homeruns from that spot and hit .250 in the process. When the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts, the plan was originally to bat him in the leadoff spot long-term. That appears to have changed though. 

So with that in mind, it would make sense to have Joc change spots in the lineup with Muncy. Joc also happens to have half of the plate appearances in 2020 that Muncy has. Putting Joc back up near the top and giving him more opportunities for regular play might be exactly when he needs to get things going. It also gives Muncy some extra time to figure things out. 

Mookie Betts will be day-to-day with swelling in his ring finger as well. The Dodgers play two more in San Diego before heading back home. 

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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. This is the kind of thing that drives one batty about Roberts. Does it really matter what hand the pitcher uses when facing Betts? Put him in the lead off spot with Seager back at number 2 and let’s move on. All this is accomplishing is messing with Muncy’s head.

    And does Roberts really want to see Joc strike out to start game because occasionally he begins with a bomb. Whether he feels compelled because of pressure from above or it’s him fiddling on his own, it’s on him. He needs to either grow a spine and say no or stop his own foolishness.

    • Bum4ever,
      You hit it right on the sweet spot! Betts gets on base consistently. Seager is a doubles machine. With Betts speed, you’re up 1-0 in the first inning.

      Turner 3rd, Belli 4th, Pollack/Pederson 5th, Muncy 6th, SMith 7th and, eventually, Lux at 8th. Roberts, and to some extent the analysts, rely way too much on computer models.

      Guys still have to hit. Guys still have to run. Guys still have to catch. Guys still have to throw. Let the ballplayers play ball…

    • This is an organizational thing not a Roberts thing. Has everyone forgotten the Mattingly days? Same story, that should tell you something

  2. Really??????? you got one of the best lead off hitters in the game and a great runner (plus just paid him a ton of money) and Roberts is going to platoon Mookie???????? My god. gotta get rid of Dave.

    • Mookie is not going to be platooned. He is going to be flipped between first an second. But that being said, Muncy has a good OBP against righties. I understand thinking on that aspect; but if Mookie leads off, you have the intangible of pitchers throwing to first a lot if he gets on. AND, more fastballs for batter #2. Yep, Corey Seager is the best choice as another has said. Bat Muncy 5th.

  3. Ridiculous that it took Muncy struggling to move him out of leadoff he should’ve never been there to begin with. Roberts needs to tell Friedman to F off and that this is his team to lead

  4. D.R. DOES NOT HAVE GOOD BRAINS WHEN IT COMES TO MANAGER CALLS. WHY IN THE HELL IS MOOKIE NOT THE LEAD OFF HITTER? WAY BETTER THAN MUNCY @ ANY PLACE ON THE FIELD.ANDREW GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF A====SS ,YOU PAID A LOT OF MONEY FOR A LONG TIME, HELP D.R. USE HIM IN A SMART WAY OR YOU WILL BE SORRY. WHO EVER IS CALLING THE SHOTS IS DUMB TO THE GAME OF BASEBALL.

  5. You can’t have a lead off batter lead off hitting around 200 and not getting on base for the next three hitters. Pederson is NOT a lead off batter if you want to win.

  6. Yeah. Lets just put Pederson back at first base as well. Barnes should be our starting catcher our season is doomed as long as Roberts is managing ( well that’s putting it nicely)

  7. best and hottest hitters need to bat #3 and #4. so Mookie should be at 3 while he is hot, Seager at 4 (or reverse that). Muncy and Beli need to be dropped down to 6-7, until they start hitting the other way (left side) to regain their strokes and beat the shift. drop in Pollock more often while he is hot. Rios too. Barnes should never bat (sorry Barney). Joc at righty leadoff, maybe AJ for lefties, or Kike if he starts hitting again. Taylor/Beaty in 2 hole.

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