Is Alex Verdugo breaking down the door?

It is no secret that Joc Pederson is struggling with the Dodgers. The part-time outfielder is getting plenty of playing time subbing in for Matt Kemp not long after the national anthem is finished playing but he isn’t doing much to combat the argument that he might be better off playing every day in AAA to work on his swing.

Meanwhile, top position prospect Alex Verdugo is doing everything he can to make the Dodgers take notice of him. Just like Joc, Alex is a left hand hitting outfielder who can play centerfield and the corners.  You don’t want to bring up Alex Verdugo to simply sit on the bench but given that the backup outfielder on the Dodgers will play every game as a defensive sub for Matt Kemp as well as starting once in a while for Kemp/Taylor/Puig he would get plenty of burn.  The question is, should he?

I don’t know. What I do know is that Joc is struggling and Verdugo is on friggin fire. For the season Alex is doing this:

AVG OBP SLG OPS AB 2B HR
0.34 0.353 0.58 0.933 50 3 3

but in his last five games, he is nine for eighteen with three home runs.  If Alex isn’t knocking down the door he is at least putting some serious cracks in it. Joc still has time to show he’s the best option to be the Kemp caddy but how much time do the Dodgers have?

Meanwhile, Henry Ramos is lighting up AAA.  Ramos has an OPS of 1.082 and has driven in at least three runs in four of his last eight starts. If he hadn’t gone 0 – 5 last night I might have devoted a whole column to him instead of a paragraph.

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4 Comments

  1. This year, Joc has only three strikeouts in 37 plate appearances and a .207 BABIP. His average exit velocity is 89, which is sort of middling. One question is whether Joc’s better off long-term emphasizing contact over the free-swinging power he showed before.

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    • That is a good question. It is like he’s trying to become Alex Verdugo. I personally would rather have homer hitting/walking/strikeout Joc instead of this version. His BABIP is low but unlike Puig I’m not seeing hard hit balls being turned into outs but unlike other years I don’t watch every inning anymore. That 89 velocity seems to match the eyes. While I like to make fun of Dave Roberts “relevant” comment I think for the most part he’s doing a good job in getting Joc at-bats though I’m not a fan of how he shortchanges the bench long before he needs to. At some point Matt Kemp is probably going to have an injury, he just seems like an injury waiting to happen and when it does the Dodgers better hope that Kiké can hit left handers like last year and one of Alex/Joc/Andrew is upto the task of being the starting left fielder. I haven’t seen enough of Alex to have any opinion but I do like Andrew Toles more than Joc if someone made me make a choice.

      Which Joc do you think is better for his career?

      Liked by 1 person

      • 68elcamino427

        Oh, answer to the Joc question!

        It isn’t going to matter what approach he says he is gonna take because he will continuously fiddle with it anyway.

        Pederson has shown us who he is.
        He is a streak hitter entering his prime years now.

        His struggles at the plate look bad to the eye beginning 2018, but look even worse on paper viewing the stats.

        He is going to get sent back to OKC, when not if imo.

        Like

  2. Max Muncy has played in the outfield too, 54 G Milb and 21 G for the A’s in 2017.

    If one of the objects is to keep Verdugo/Toles in a scenario where they get daily game reps until/if Kemp requires a DL stint, then why not just keep Muncy on the roster when Forsythe???/Turner returns and do something with Pederson at that time.

    Pederson lost his poise twice in last night’s game. First was his reaction after the ball struck the end of his bat and second was when he heaved the ball into the stands after the ball had popped out of his glove because the glove hit his thigh as he landed from crashing the wall in foul territory. So, he looks like he might be pretty frustrated with how things are going.

    Liked by 1 person

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