Undeniably, Joc Pederson has been a good time with the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2019 season. On Tuesday night, he led off the game against the San Francisco Giants with his 19th home run of the season. Furthermore, his OPS sits at .903 on the season.
With Pederson’s offensive production cementing him in a role of ‘bat that needs to be in the lineup’, and a plethora of bodies; the Dodgers have some shuffling of deck furniture to do.
In the hope that they can maximize their resources offensively upon A.J. Pollock’s return, the Dodgers must get creative somewhere. Now, J.P. Hoornstra of the OC Register details Pederson preparing to move to first base some of the time.
#Dodgers notes: Joc Pederson's first base experiment is getting ready to leave the laboratory: https://t.co/h3K08uMsr9
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 19, 2019
First and before I get into what was said – I want to credit our fearless leader Clint Pasillas – more affectionately known as ‘FRG’. It was sometime in the winter months when he told me not to be surprised if Pederson was moved to first base to keep his bat in the lineup. While I agreed it was a novel idea, I didn’t know if we would see it come to fruition.
Well, here we are.
Pederson has played every inning of his big league career (8,237 of them) in the outfield. So what does his manager Dave Roberts think of the possibility? He believes we will see it, is what.
“We’re ramping it up,” Roberts said. “I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but we do see him playing first base. … Just to have that option, I think it just makes us a better club.”
Since Pederson has provided a positive defensive value as an outfielder, one figures unless something goes terribly wrong; he should be able to handle the simplicity of first base. After all, we have all seen less capable athletes at that position. Equally important, Pederson is excited about this move.
“Once A.J. went down and Alex started to perform, then it’s kind of a real conversation,” Roberts said. “(Pederson) is actually more excited about playing first base than I’ve seen him excited about anything outside of hitting a homer.”
Finally, this makes decent sense. Los Angeles has shown good ability in the recent past to shuffle their versatile position players to maximize their chances at success in a given match-up. Consider this one more cog in the wheel that could add another wrinkle that makes them tougher to beat.
Truly, you never know when another late-inning door opens in the postseason due to the fact that Pederson can slide to first base. File that in your memory bank and see how this plays out.
How do you like Joc Pederson playing first base?
How do you feel about the Dodgers moving Pederson to first base? Do you feel like this will be a short-term move that is quickly scrapped, or will it have some degree of success for Los Angeles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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