Dodgers Keeping Joc Pederson As Platoon In Left Field, Cody Bellinger In Right Field, Rely On Kiké Hernandez, Alex Verdugo & Chris Taylor To Play Center
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Right as the Los Angeles Dodgers were finally getting healthy for the first time this season, starting center fielder A.J. Pollock went down with an infection in his right elbow.

Pollock underwent surgery on the elbow after fracturing it last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he now was forced to have another surgery to remove the plate and screw previously inserted to stabilize the bone.

The surgery was successful, but there still has not been a timetable set for when Pollock will be able to return.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts laid out the plan to replace him in center field, and because of a desire to keep Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger in the corners, the combination of Alex Verdugo, Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor is expected to split time in center, vi SportsNet LA

“I think with Joc as a platoon, that’ll remain; whether it be Taylor or somebody else sharing that duty. I think right now we’re going to stick with Cody in right field, and obviously he has the ability to play center field. But in talking to him, he feels very comfortable staying in right field right now. He’s a Gold-Glove potential in right field, so like him right there. We’ll see how that goes. In center field, there’s a little Taylor, a little Kiké, a little Verdugo. It’s nice when you have versatile players.”

Hernandez is the team’s starting second baseman, so he will likely see the least amount of time in the outfield. Max Muncy could get more starts at second base as a chain reaction though.

The player who figures to benefit the most with Pollock being out as far as playing time goes is Verdugo. The rookie has gotten off to a great start this season, demonstrating the ability to hit both right- and left-handed pitching to this point.

Taylor is currently in a platoon with Pederson in left field, so if Verdugo continues his strong play then he could potentially take control of the starting job in center.

As has been the case in previous seasons, the Dodgers will depend on their biggest organizational strengths, versatility and depth, to replace Pollock until he is able to return.