Only 19 games into the season, and the Dodgers have moved Joc Pederson into the leadoff spot in the series finale against the Giants.
The move is logical on its face, as Pederson has the best on-base percentage on the team at .458. Not that it's reasonable to expect that high of an OBP from Pederson going forward, though getting on base is one of his best skills. He leads the team in both walks (16) and walk rate (21.9%), and even if removing his three intentional walks is still the best in blue at drawing a free pass.
Even adding in his struggles as a September call-up in 2014 (he was 4-for-28, but with nine walks), his career on-base percentage is .422 despite a batting average of .244, in all of 111 plate appearances.
What is surprising is that Pederson moved all the way up from eighth and seventh, the only other two places he batted this year, with 14 and four starts, respectively.
Given that the first sure thing manager Don Mattingly identified about his lineup was that Jimmy Rollins would be his leadoff man, and that Rollins has started 71.8% of his career starts batting first, 1,434 starts batting leadoff, it is a bit surprising to see Rollins out of the No. 1 spot, even if it is the right move.
But Rollins also has 357 starts batting second, where he is hitting on Wednesday night. Despite his slow start, hitting just .182/.281/.299, his walk rate has been good, second on the team at 12.4%.
With Pederson riding the elevator up the lineup, the fall guy is Yasmani Grandal, who goes from fifth to seventh. In addition, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez swapped the third and fourth spots.