Thursday, June 13, 2024

Joc Steady

 The deal with Joc Pederson has traditionally been that you're gonna get power numbers. His defense was never especially the draw, even in LA. You get him, you're gonna get 25-to-35 home runs, some solid RBI numbers, some low averages and his younger brother pumping everybody up. That's already a pretty good deal. Pederson has 2 World Series wins, has competed in two Home Run Derbys, is responsible for 12 postseason home runs, and is one of the most fun guys to have around. In the heat of an All-Star season in San Francisco, when Tommy Pham went at him, almost nobody thought it was because of anything Pederson did. It's not like Josh Donaldson egging on Tim Anderson or anything. No, Pedey was in the right and Pham was bringing stuff about their fantasy league into the ring, and Pham got rightfully attacked for it.

What I'm saying is I thought I knew the limitations of what Joc Pederson could bring to a ballclub. And so here he is, in Phoenix, with his best contact hitting year of his career. Hitting .286 with 44 hits, 23 RBIs and an .878 OPS. And his slugging numbers are a .494, but he's gone higher. He only has 7 home runs. It's not really about power this season. Which is kinda wild, cause...this is Joc Pederson we're talking about here. Career .239 average Joc Pederson. 

And hey, the D-Backs will certainly take it at this point. They're hitting .249 as a team, which is 8th in baseball, thanks to contact hitters like Ketel Marte, Jake McCarthy, Geraldo Perdomo and somehow Randal Grichuk. Walker and Marte are hitting home runs, even if resident home run hitter Eugenio Suarez...uh...isn't. Really the only disappointments here have been Suarez and Corbin Carroll, everybody else has been either decent or extremely good. And it's wild to see Pederson an integral part of the team. Not that I didn't think he could, I saw what he could do with the Giants and Braves, but you forget how versatile he is, and how many different things he can excel at. And he's reminding us in AZ this year.

Yes, quite obviously the injuries to the pitching staff has held this team back. We've still yet to see Eduardo Rodriguez, we're without Merrill Kelly for a while, now we're without Zac Gallen, and a rotation of Montgomery-Pfaadt-Nelson-Henry-Cecconi just isn't the same. This is what the D-Backs were trying to get around all last postseason with the Kelly-Gallen-Pfaadt trio. Now that the big pieces of the rotation are hurt it's just 5 guys with 5 ERAs. Montgomery is proving why he made the right decision firing Scott Boras, because that holdout may have tanked his season. If they didn't have Paul Sewald on fire in the ninth, and a very strong bullpen, it'd be over for these guys.

It's a lot like the Astros in the earlier part of the season, and the Marlins and A's now honestly. If there's no 'safe zone' starter to guide you through after a ton of bad starts, then you're really putting a lot on your lineup to show up. And the D-Backs are lucky this lineup can. If there was substantial pitching here, and healthy, they wouldn't be paddling through 4th place.

Coming Tonight: A guy who fans once thought would be the franchise's savior...beginning to look at other clubs. 

No comments:

Post a Comment