The Los Angeles Dodgers made somewhat of a surprising decision last month by sending Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City in order to add Curtis Granderson to their active roster. Pederson was mired in a 2-for-41 slump that spanned 15 games (12 starts) at the time of his demotion.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained the decision as one the team made with the hope it would better allow for the young center fielder to sort through mechanical changes in his swing. Through 12 games with Oklahoma City, all starts, he’s 6-for-48 with a .208 on-base percentage and .146 slugging.
Through 87 games with the Dodgers, Pederson batted .215/.329/.418 with 18 doubles, 11 home runs, 33 RBI, a .324 wOBA and 101 wRC+.
Despite the inconsistency from Pederson at the plate, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi has confidence he’s capable of righting the ship, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I hope and believe that some of these adjustments – I mean, he hit for average as he was coming up through the minor leagues. I think there is more to the bat than we see right now. He can become a more complete player. He sees himself that way. That’s something he’s said to us over the course of the past couple months. ‘I’m not a .230 hitter.’ I think some of the adjustments he’s working on are geared towards not being the ‘all-or-nothing’ type hitter.”
Pederson was not among the Dodgers’ first wave of call-ups last Friday. Alex Verdugo, however, was. He made his MLB debut by starting in center field in the series opener and has started each of the three games with the San Diego Padres.
As for Pederson, he’s expected to be recalled once Oklahoma City’s season winds to a close; they’ve already been eliminated from playoff contention. Once Pederson rejoins the Dodgers, he may find himself playing left field.
It’s where he’s started in eight games with Oklahoma City, while twice starting in center field and once as the designated hitter.