Seven position players have won the
Through the first 22 games of their rookie seasons, none of them had as many home runs as
Pederson blasted his fifth home run of the season Friday night in the
Pederson is batting .300 with 14 RBIs. He continues to start in center field and was recently made the team's leadoff hitter.
"I still need to put together quality at-bats," Pederson said of his hot start. "It's a long season. It's not how you start, it's how you finish."
About the only reminder of his rookie status is when he is teased or pranked by his veteran teammates, like he was on this night.
When Pederson stepped into the batter's box for the first time, a song by One Direction blared over Dodger Stadium's public-address system. Later introductions were accompanied by music from other boy bands.
"We got some jokesters on the team," Pederson said. "I was laughing walking up to the plate, to be honest."
But if Pederson's performance was the most memorable,
A day after
Frias became the eighth starting pitcher to be used by the Dodgers this season, which ties them for the most with the
Scott Baker, another pitcher who was recently promoted from triple-A Oklahoma City, is scheduled start against the Diamondbacks on Saturday.
"But if your bullpen's getting blown up for two, three days in a row, then you have to make some decisions and do some things differently," Mattingly said.
No such moves were required in the wake a start in which Frias' fastball hit 98 mph.
"When we saw him last year, he seemed like he was best when he was 93-94," Mattingly said. "Now, we're seeing 96-97. I don't know if it's earlier in the year or he's just getting stronger as he's getting older."
In Mattingly's view, whether Frias, 25, can sustain this form will depend on his ability to use his off-speed pitches.
"We just like to see him pitch more than be all power," Mattingly said.
If Frias can't do that, his future could be in the bullpen. Pointing to Frias' mix of velocity and durability, Mattingly said, "Obviously, he has the arm that can go either way."
If anything, what the 25-year-old right-hander did Friday night marked a major improvement from his last opportunity with the Dodgers.
Frias made unwanted history in a 16-2 defeat to the