Alex Guerrero is the National League rookie of the month for April. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
MILWAUKEE — Two Dodgers players earned trophies from MLB Monday. Adrian Gonzalez
was hardly a surprise pick as the National League’s Player of the Month after leading all qualified batters with a .790 slugging percentage and hitting five home runs in the Dodgers’ first three games. No player had achieved the latter feat in baseball history.
The Dodgers have the National League’s top rookie for April as well, but it isn’t Joc Pederson.
Alex Guerrero was given the honor after leading qualified NL rookies with a .423 batting average (11-for-26) and a 1.077 slugging percentage last month, and ranked first among NL rookies and tied for seventh overall in home runs (5) and RBI (13).
Guerrero said he was not aware the award existed before Monday. Since his batting average peaked at .500 on April 26, Guerrero has one hit in his past 12 at-bats. He was benched on Monday in favor of Juan Uribe at third base and Scott Van Slyke in left field against Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse.
Pederson and rookie reliever Yimi Garcia were listed among the runners up for the award.
Andre Ethier (left) and Joc Pederson (right) hit home runs in the Dodgers’ 8-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
If I told you a couple years ago that Joc Pederson, Rubby De La Rosa and Carlos Frias would be in the starting lineup May 1, 2015 at Dodger Stadium, you probably wouldn’t have been surprised. You might have guessed that Pederson would be batting leadoff, belting tape-measure grand slams, establishing himself as one of the most consistent presences in the Dodger lineup (even if his place in the batting order wasn’t always the same).
Joc Pederson is hitting leadoff for the first time in his major-league career against the San Francisco Giants. (Getty Images)
Don Mattingly‘s lineup card for Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants is more radically different than perhaps any this season.
Joc Pederson bats first for the first time. Jimmy Rollins bats second for the first time. Howie Kendrick is third, Adrian Gonzalez fourth and Yasmani Grandal seventh — all for the first time in 2015.
“Carl’s (injury) was the biggest” factor for changing the lineup, Mattingly said. “I think as we’ve watched Joc kind of, you know, keep growing, you want to get him in the mix, as far as getting more at-bats.”
Carl Crawford strained his right oblique muscle on Tuesday and is on the 15-day disabled list. Pederson is slashing .296/.458/.556 having batted no higher than seventh this season. His 16 walks are tied for second in the National League and his .458 batting average ranks third.