LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson, who has never played anywhere except the outfield since his 2014 Major League debut, is working out at first base for the Dodgers.With left-handed-hitting Cody Bellinger an immediate fixture at the position, even manager Dave Roberts tempered expectations about seeing Pederson at first base in
LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson, who has never played anywhere except the outfield since his 2014 Major League debut, is working out at first base for the Dodgers.
With left-handed-hitting Cody Bellinger an immediate fixture at the position, even manager Dave Roberts tempered expectations about seeing Pederson at first base in a real game any time soon.
"In the near future, no," said Roberts. "But I think it's good for Joc to work on his footwork, his hands. That's something he detected himself and wanted to improve his skill set and versatility. To think he's going to be in a Major League game soon? Probably not. But you never know at some point in the future. But I applaud him for the work."
Pederson, an All-Star as a rookie, has regressed in recent years and made the club this year as a fourth outfielder over Alvin Toles off the improvement he showed last postseason.
Roberts said Pederson will get his first outfield start of the season Sunday in the series finale against the Giants and right-handed starting pitcher Chris Stratton.
• Roberts said he was not overly concerned about fastball velocity drops for his two best pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. Each allowed game-winning home runs to Joe Panik.
"With Clayton, there's a little downtick in velocity," said Roberts. "But still, the swings guys are taking on him, his command throughout the spring, the secondary pitches all have been sharp. If you're looking at strictly velocity with Clayton, I'm really not too concerned about it.
"There's obviously a little bit more with Kenley. The thing for us, if Kenley says he's healthy and the training staff and strength staff says he's healthy, he'll be fine. He misfired last night. I know he was frustrated. No one cares more than Kenley. He and I, we're synced up. He was the guy, two days after the World Series running stairs. No one cares more. There will be an uptick in velocity. With him and Clayton, we're not concerned."
Roberts' comment about Jansen caring was in response to Jansen's postgame comments about his velocity ("Who cares?"), which Jansen on Saturday said were made out of frustration from the loss.
• In a pregame ceremony Saturday night, the Dodgers received their 2017 National League championship rings.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.