Sunday’s Dodgers lineup against the Rockies is without a pair of regulars. Mookie Betts is just getting a regular day off, but Joc Pederson is out for a family-related reason that the team did not disclose at the time.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers placed Pederson on the paternity list, which is a minimum of one game and a maximum of three games. Pederson and his wife Kelsey announced in April that she was pregnant with the couple’s second child.
Manager Dave Roberts on Sunday said Pederson is fine, but currently isn’t with the team, and the timing of his return is unknown.
“He might show up later today, but I’m not sure. We’ve obviously talked to him and feel good about it,” Roberts said on a conference call. “If we have to make a roster move on Tuesday, we will. But right now that’s all I can divulge.”
Teams are not allowed to disclose medical information that isn’t game-related without a player’s consent.
Roberts said Sunday the roster move, if made, would not be injury-related.
Sunday is the first time in 31 games that Pederson isn’t in the starting lineup against a right-handed pitcher. He started 104 of 110 games against right-handers in 2019.
Pederson this season is hitting just .187/.295/.418 against right-handers, his 95 wRC+ well below his career 129 wRC+ against righties. But his batted ball data against right-handers, per Baseball Savant, suggests an expected batting average of .263 with an expected .503 slugging percentage this season, more in line his career numbers.
With Betts and Pederson out, Kiké Hernandez makes his first start of the season in right field, with Chris Taylor in center field and A.J. Pollock in left.
Gavin Lux is the fifth Dodger to bat leadoff this season, the first of four consecutive left-handers atop the Dodgers lineup. Betts leads the team with 26 starts at leadoff, and Pederson is second with nine times at the top. Others to bat leadoff this season are Max Muncy five times and Pollock once.