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Joc Pederson taking control in center field

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers and Rangers meet up on Tuesday, the first of three games against one another in a five-day span, including this weekend's two exhibition games in San Antonio.

Joc Pederson starts in center field, his eighth start at the position (five more than anyone else on the team), and 11th start overall in 14 days. The rookie is 9-for-22 (.409) with two doubles, a home run and a pair of walks so far this spring, but more than that has impressed the staff throughout big league camp.

"We like what we've seen from Joc. As we talked about it early, we're looking about Joc's process as much as his results, that he's hitting .409. How's his work, does he have good routines, how is he kind of dealing with it all?" manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday morning. "I even talked to him today about having good at-bats, not putting pressure on yourself about worrying about get a hit. If you walk, even if you make an out and you're having good at-bats, that's going to turn into a good season."

Pederson, who made a couple of stellar defensive plays on Monday, is considered the best center field defender on the club among potential regulars, and has he inside track to win the center field job. But Mattingly wouldn't commit just yet, with just under three weeks left in camp.

"We haven't made any decision on who's going to be where," Mattingly explained, "but we do like the way things are going for Joc."

Hyun-jin Ryu makes his second Cactus League start on Wednesday, and will be backed by a mostly regular lineup, with Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe getting days off.

Scott Van Slyke starts at first base for the Dodgers, with Justin Turner at third base.

Other pitchers scheduled for the Dodgers include Paco Rodriguez, J.P. Howell, Juan Nicasio, David Aardsma and Pedro Baez.