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Improved conditioning key for Joc in 2018

MLB.com @kengurnick

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Dodgers have talked to outfielder Joc Pederson about improving his physical conditioning, general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Wednesday.

"He has as much ability as anyone on our team," Zaidi said. "He's shown that in stretches. It's just going to be a matter of conditioning and consistency. He knows what he needs to do. He's in as good a frame of mind as he's been the last three years. So if he's performing at the level of his potential that we've seen in stretches, he's going to be there regularly for us."

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Dodgers have talked to outfielder Joc Pederson about improving his physical conditioning, general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Wednesday.

"He has as much ability as anyone on our team," Zaidi said. "He's shown that in stretches. It's just going to be a matter of conditioning and consistency. He knows what he needs to do. He's in as good a frame of mind as he's been the last three years. So if he's performing at the level of his potential that we've seen in stretches, he's going to be there regularly for us."

Pederson has been an enigma. He arrived in 2015 after slugging 33 homers with 30 stolen bases at Triple-A in '14. He slugged 26 and 25 home runs his first two seasons with the Dodgers, respectively, but he stole just 10 bases. In '17, Pederson hit .212 with 11 homers, 35 RBIs and four steals in 102 games, disappointing enough that he was optioned to Triple-A on Aug. 19 for two weeks.

Additionally, Pederson's defensive metrics regressed, and converted infielder Chris Taylor took over in center field. Playing left field, Pederson had a resurgence in the World Series with three homers, five RBIs and a 1.344 OPS.

Zaidi said the Dodgers are hoping better conditioning will translate into improved outfield play and baserunning from the 25-year-old Pederson, who is getting married this month.

"From a swing, mechanics standpoint, I don't think any of that has been an issue," Zaidi said of Pederson's conditioning. "Baserunning, defense, some of those things where you need explosiveness, that matters. He had a great postseason. He is working really hard this offseason. I think he feels the next stage for him is gaining more consistency."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Joc Pederson