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Dodgers

Joc Pederson in center with Enrique Hernandez out at least two weeks

Joc Pederson

Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson makes a running catch to snag a ninth inning fly ball against the Reds.

(Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

So the news on Enrique Hernandez was not good, not that anyone really expected it to be.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Hernandez has a left hamstring strain, and after initially saying he’d be out a few days, admitted it would likely be at least a couple of weeks.

“I think that’s realistic,” Mattingly said.

Joc Pederson is back in the lineup in center Monday in the first game of the Dodgers-Giants series and Mattingly said he would get most of the time there, though rookie Jose Peraza would also get a look.

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“We’ll try to match it up a little bit,” Mattingly said. “For the most part, it’s Joc.”

Pederson bats left-handed, Peraza right-handed.

Mattingly also has Yasmani Grandal in his lineup Monday, and right you now have to wonder if that’s not close to two automatic outs.

Both players are in horrendous slumps. Grandal has been in pain since taking a nasty foul ball to the left (non-throwing) shoulder in Philadelphia. In his 13 games since, he has three hits in 40 at-bats; he’s hitless in his last 18 at-bats with nine strikeouts.

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Pederson, however, has been in a slump for two months (20 for 136, .147 with 25 walks and 51 strikeouts) and has shown no signs of coming out of it. He’s also hitless in his last 13 at-bats (six strikeouts, six walks).

This is Peterson’s first full season in the majors, the rookie never having been through such a lengthy slump or having any history of how to come out of it.

“You see a guy who hasn’t gotten a lot of hits, but I see a guy who’s working and trying to get better,” Mattingly said. “Obviously we want all our guys to do well.

“We have other guys who struggle. Grandal’s strugglilng. I want him to do well, we want to help him. It’s always somebody in your lineup that’s going through something.”

Mattingly said Grandal’s shoulder is now fine, though his at-bats and the fact that Mattingly is suddenly batting him at the bottom of the order tell a different story.

At least Grandal has been through tough times before, and the shoulder will ultimately heal. Pederson’s swing has not really changed throughout his two-month slump and it’s to the point where now you have to assume his confidence is shot.

“Guys lose focus and have to get past that and move on, put things behind them,” Mattiingly said. “That’s tougher for a younger guy. They don’t have the experience of it. What percentage is it with Joc? I don’t know. We just have to try and be aware of everything. We have a pretty experienced coaching staff.”

Mattingly said Hernandez’s hamstring injury is similar to the strains that put Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig on the disabled list. Kendrick has been out since Aug. 10 and still can’t run full speed.

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