Dodgers: Three key positional battles to keep an eye on going forward
By Ryan Vargas
Joc Pederson vs. the Platoon
The first positional battle is in center field between Joc Pederson and the number of other players that the Dodgers have used at that position. Pederson had a short stint on the disabled list, and that is what opened the door to the platoon being used by manager Dave Roberts.
There is no doubt that Joc Pederson is the best defensive center fielder on the Dodgers’ roster, but his inability to hit left-handed pitching has been his downfall once again. This season he is batting a meager .174 with and OBP of .208 with no home runs, one RBI, and nine strikeouts against southpaws.
The Dodger that has benefited the most from the platoon is Kiké Hernandez, who has started in center field when there is a left-handed starter on the mound. The reason Roberts has penciled in his name is that he is batting .267/.353/.578 with two home runs and seven RBI against lefties.
Pederson’s struggles against left-handed pitching are well known, but I think that he should be given more of an opportunity now that he is back healthy. Defensively, Pederson is an above-average defender, and the Dodgers need him to anchor the outfield.
While he is only batting .178, this is over only 44 plate appearances this season. Couple that with a stint on the disabled list and I think that Pederson has not been able to get comfortable at the plate, especially against left-handed pitching. I would like to see the Dodgers go away from the platoon for starting Pederson every day.