Playoff plans for Joc, CT3, Pollock, Lux, Urías

September 23rd, 2020

Manager Dave Roberts said he doesn’t plan to be platooning this postseason as much as he has in past Octobers.

“That’s fair -- it’s still contingent upon performance -- but if you look at the guys in the lineup … it’s not a very platoon-driven lineup,” Roberts said.

One exception in that plan is for to face right-handers. Pederson, who has struggled all season (.174/.268/.376), returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday night after missing five games while on the family emergency medical list.

Roberts was unable to give assurances that Pederson will remain with the club through the postseason.

“I can’t say with 100 percent certainty. Family first, and Joc knows that,” Roberts said. “I just know Joc worked real hard to be here with us, to finish out this homestand, and I would expect him to be with us through the Wild Card Series. Then after that, I just don’t know.”

Despite this year’s disappointing performance with free agency approaching, Pederson is one of the few players on the current roster who has been repeatedly clutch in the postseason. He has seven home runs, 12 RBIs and an .813 OPS in five postseasons, including four World Series homers, and last year had a .953 OPS in the National League Division Series against the Nationals.

“It hasn’t been the season he expected, we expected out of him,” said Roberts. “But for us to get him locked in for the postseason is the most important thing right now. I just expect him to play against the right-handers -- we’ve got four of them [facing us] this week -- and get him ready for the postseason.”

• With perfunctory hedges, Roberts essentially said on Monday that and will be in the starting lineup for the postseason regardless of the opposing pitcher.

What he didn’t say is that means rookie won’t be.

Lux was given the starting second-base job last September and right through the only round of the playoffs, when he had six strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. After a late arrival to Summer Camp and quick option out to the alternate training site, Lux was promoted in late August and given 65 plate appearances to earn back the starting job, but entered Tuesday hitting only. 169 with shaky defense.

“Things can obviously change, but I think right now with what Chris Taylor has done this year and what he’s done in years past, playing against left and right seems to give us the best chance,” said Roberts. “And AJ’s at-bats this year have been very good. I like the balance in our lineup.”

Taylor entered Tuesday with a .281/.378/.491 slash line, starting at four defensive positions, nine times at second base including Tuesday night. Pollock rebounded from a bad case of COVID-19 with a slash line of .274/.310/.531 entering Tuesday. But in October, he’ll be looking to rebound from last year's poor postseason performance, when he struck out 11 times in 13 at-bats without a hit.

• Roberts said , Tuesday night’s starter, would start again on Sunday. But , who makes his final regular-season start on Wednesday, appears to be headed to the bullpen.

“We want Julio to be part of the conversation as far as how we want to use him and what he feels comfortable with,” said Roberts. “I think he’s earned the right to be part of that conversation. He’s all in for whatever we decide going forward. As a starter, he continues to get better. As a reliever, we’ve seen in short spurts and the ability to pitch a day or two later, the value in that. We have good options.”