Dodgers: 4 roster battles to watch in spring training 2.0

Austin Barnes, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Austin Barnes, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

2) Dodgers roster battles: Left field platoon

This position battle is a matter of at-bats. We know both AJ Pollock and Joc Pederson will see time in the Dodgers lineup this season, but how often each plays will be interesting to watch over a shortened 60-game schedule.

Left field has become a classic platoon opportunity for manager Dave Roberts, with Pederson mashing right-handed pitchers and Pollock offsetting him against southpaws. Last year, Pederson hit all 36 of his home runs against righties.

With Mookie Betts added to the outfield next to Cody Bellinger, it doesn’t leave space for either Pollock or Pederson to find much time in center or right field, so they will have to make due with the opportunities they get in left field.

Pollock has played most of his career as a center fielder, but he did see 145 innings in left last year, and was below average to terrible depending on the advanced metrics you look at. Pederson has had his own troubles in the outfield, but played better last season.

With the designated hitter added to the National League this year, it offers an opportunity for both players to gain at-bats on days they aren’t playing in the field. Roberts said he doesn’t plan on using a full-time DH, so he will rotate players to give them partial days off.