Joc Pederson made his MLB debut in Monday’s loss as he represented the game-winning run during his pinch-hit appearance in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Pederson worked a full count and was caught looking to end the game, which he understandably expressed disappointment in and also said it was a situation he enjoyed being in. Prior to Monday’s loss, manager Don Mattingly said he intended on using Pederson in a variety of manners.
After the game, Pederson said his focus is on helping the Dodgers win a World Series, via Jill Painter of the LA Daily News:
I’m excited. It’s a great thing for me,” Pederson said. “Now it’s just a matter of helping the team win. That’s what it’s all about, winning a World Series. Whatever you can do to help the team win, makes it more exciting.”
As for the length of time it took for Pederson to get his opportunity at the Major League level, he said it wasn’t something he worried about:
All I can control is what I do. Everything else is out of my control. When it happens, it happens. I’m just as happy.”
Pederson hit 33 home runs with Triple-A Albuquerque and stole 30 bases, which makes him a threat both at the plate and on the basepaths.
Coinciding with Mattingly’s intentions of using Pederson in specific situations is his comments that the Dodgers aren’t merely looking to get the players who were promoted at-bats or playing time.
That being said, Alex Guerrero pinch-hit for Chris Perez in the fifth inning Monday and Yimi Garcia threw two innings of scoreless relief to keep the Dodgers within arm’s length of the Washington Nationals.
Pederson’s ability to play all three outfield positions should bode well as it will allow flexibility for Mattingly to rotate his outfielders and keep legs fresh should the Dodgers be in the position to afford that luxury.
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