Joc Pederson With Dodgers For NLDS, Remainder Of MLB Postseason

While the Los Angeles Dodgers successfully navigated a 60-game season without any players testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), Joc Pederson twice took time away from the team in September.

He first was placed on the paternity list, then missed a stretch of five games while on the family medical emergency list. The 28-year-old outfielder struggled a bit upon re-joining the Dodgers, though manager Dave Roberts continued to give him ample opportunities to make an impact.

Roberts acknowledged it was with the thought of Pederson finding some semblance of comfort at the plate heading into the postseason. However, there also was some uncertainty whether Pederson’s family concern would allow him to remain active beyond the Wild Card Series.

That since has been quelled. “Fortunately, we’ve got Joc and his family with us here in the bubble,” Roberts said. “I know he’s really in a good place as far as that. We’re just really fortunate that we have him going forward.”

Pederson made just one pinch-hit appearance during seventh inning of Game 2 in the Wild Card round despite having what appeared to be a favorable matchup against Milwaukee Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff.

“It’s more on recency and right now, where AJ is at, Will Smith, the way they’re swinging the bat. I want to get Joc going if we get the right spots,” Roberts explained at the time. “Personally, I just feel that with Woodruff having an elite fastball at the top of the zone, I just haven’t seen Joc get to it and handle it this year.”

Pederson finished the season batting a lowly .190/.285/.397 with four doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBI over 43 games. The down year comes after Pederson set career highs in batting average (.249), runs (83), hits (112), home runs (36), RBI (74) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.876) in 2019.

Postseason success

While Pederson struggled throughout the season, he has a track record of performing well in the playoffs. That was particularly true when the Dodgers reached the World Series in 2017, but Pederson also showed well against the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series.

He appeared in all five games, collecting four hits (two doubles, one home run) during the series.

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