After going platoon heavy during the second half of last season and all the way through the World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested the lineup would be much more regular in 2019.
Roberts projected Cody Bellinger would play on a daily basis, with Max Muncy also due to receive an opportunity to be an everyday player at first base. Thus, the only position the Dodgers figured to platoon was in left field with Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor.
That played out through the first week of the season, as Pederson started Opening Day and in three of four games with the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, including Friday’s matchup with the Colorado Rockies, he has been left out of the lineup the past four games.
In terms of days, Pederson last started on Sunday. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, he is expected to return to the lineup for the ensuing two games at Coors Field and receiving more playing time ahead:
“Ideally I would have liked to distribute the at-bats better for every single player, but that’s impossible,” Roberts said. “Somebody has to be compromised, and right now it’s been Joc. But he’ll be in there the next two days, and he’ll have a big run in the next two weeks.”
Pederson’s absence from the lineup in four consecutive games is directly traced to the Dodgers facing a left-handed starter in each of those contests. He didn’t appear at all in Tuesday’s win over the San Francisco Giants.
Pederson has hit a feeble .181/.265/.316 with 12 doubles, nine home runs and 32 RBI in 326 career plate appearances against southpaws. He’s hitless with one strikeout in two plate appearances against a lefty this season.
Although the Dodgers continue to avoid such a matchup, Roberts indicated Pederson would receive opportunities to face left-handed pitching.