Dodgers Call Up Joc Pederson, But Will He Get To Play?

Amidst constant rumors that went on for more than a year, the Dodgers were said to have been in trade discussions for David Price, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, and other top pitchers, but that the asking price was always one, two, or three of the organization’s trio of prized prospects, Julio Urias, Corey Seager, and Joc Pederson, all of whom the organization was unwilling to include in any deal. Pederson is the oldest of the trio, at 22, and the most advanced, and it has been said for quite awhile that he is a better center fielder than anyone currently on the Dodgers’ major league roster. Joc just completed the Pacific Coast League season, wherein he hit over .300 and became the league’s first 30-Home Run, 30-Stolen Base player in 80 years. He was also selected both the league’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, and today, he is a member of the Dodgers.

Whether he will see limited actions, no action, or get a real shot at playing, remains to be

seen. With Yasiel Puig and the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly having problems and Puig continuing to slump at the plate, maybe the lefty-hitting Pederson will get a start in center field. With neither Carl Crawford nor Andre Ethier lighting things up, maybe he will get some playing time in left field. Unfortunately, the Dodgers have no remaining interleague games, so there will be no designated hitter spots available through the rest of the regular season.
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In today’s draft lineup (these first-draft lineups have proven as of late to differ quite a bit from the final version) set to go against Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez, with Dee Gordon returning to action, Mattingly still does have Puig in center field, but he has been dropped to the sixth spot, and Scott Van Slyke has the start in left.

Pitching for LA will be Roberto “Fausto Carmona” Hernandez, and a win would vault the Dodgers’ over the Nationals, giving them the National Leagues’ best record. In the history

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of major league baseball, has it ever been this close for the Dodgers and Angels to each, at the same time, have their league's best records? Ever?

One other word about Pederson: In the early years of the LA Dodgers, the team had several Jewish players, as many as three at one time, including Larry and Norm Sherry, and of course, the greatest Dodger, Sandy Koufax. A little more than a decade or so
ago, the team had another great Jewish star in Shawn Green. They’ve had a few other Jewish players over the years, some at the very end of solid careers, such as Brad Ausmus and Mike Lieberthal, and a few journeymen, like Scott Radinsky. But now, with Joc Pederson, they have a chance to have a legitimate, long-term Jewish star, who both came up through the organization and who is a California native (thought, unfortunately, from Northern California). A last note on this: By virtue of his heritage, Pederson qualified to play on the Israeli National Team in the World Baseball Classic in 2013, and despite being the youngest player on the team, hit over .300, while batting second in the lineup.

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