Joc Pederson has been square in the spotlight over the past month as the Los Angeles Dodgers began experimenting with playing him at first base. After initially being eased into the position, Pederson has become a regular starter.
As one might suspect with a natural outfielder playing out of position, there have been growing pains along the way. However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has continued to voice his support of Pederson.
He acknowledged there’s been spotty play at times, but explained a belief Pederson has made strides since he first began playing the infield. Pederson committed another error on Monday night and was ultimately removed in the eighth inning.
Though, the two were not related, as Roberts benched Pederson because of a failure to run out a grounder, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Joc Pederson was benched after not running out his 8th inning ground out.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 30, 2019
Pederson’s grounder to first base drove in Will Smith, who led off the eighth inning with a double. Pederson didn’t make it far up the line in what was the final at-bat of an 0-for-4 effort at the plate.
It marked a second time this season Pederson failed to run out a play, as he previously did so on a pop-up during a May game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberts voiced his frustration and disappointment with the sequence, and said he spoke with Pederson.
One of Roberts’ mantras since being hired as manager has been a commitment to playing each game with 100% effort and approaching every day with a business-like attitude. Yasiel Puig found himself benched due to a failure to comply with those guidelines during his time with the Dodgers.
In some cases, Puig was additionally held out of the lineup for the next game. Roberts has not indicated if Pederson will experience the same fate, though he may not start anyhow as the Rockies are sending southpaw Kyle Freeland to the mound.