LOS ANGELES — With players like Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock expected to return after the All-Star break, getting a spot in the starting lineup is going to be difficult. It looks like Dave Roberts is trying whatever he can to ensure Joc Pederson remains an every day starter once they return.
Earlier in the week, we saw Pederson make his debut at first base during a game. On Friday night, he made his first career start there, and he will yet again today. “It’s giving Joc a runway to potentially increase his versatility, roster versatility,” Dave Roberts said. “Once Corey and A.J. get back after the break it’s going to look a little bit different. So to know what we’re dealing with, and the potential of certain players, mainly Joc at first base.”
This shouldn’t come as surprising news, as Pederson has been getting in work at first base during warm-ups all season. With him being a valuable bat, Roberts is looking to try out all options to see what the team can do for the remainder of the season, and more importantly, the postseason.
“The biggest challenge is the feet,” Roberts said when asked what Pederson needs to work on most. “Taking control of groundballs and situations. Understanding where to be with cutoffs and relays on plays. When to go for a ball in the shift. How do you get better, you do it by taking repetitions.”
With Rich Hill out at least a month, Roberts has yet to announce who will be taking his spot in the rotation. “Somebody from our roster,” he said. “One of the guys in the bullpen.”
The two most likely options are Ross Stripling or Julio Urias, but we will have to wait and see.