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Dodgers' Joc Pederson can swing with power, too

MIAMI -- Nobody is going to argue Giancarlo Stanton isn't baseball's most powerful hitter. Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson certainly isn't.

Stanton has hit four of the six longest home runs in baseball this season including seven longer than 450 feet according to ESPN's Home Run Tracker, more than anybody in the game.

Pederson, though, isn't far behind. He's not only hit 19 homers, the most ever by a Dodgers rookie before the All-Star break, he's also smacked four bombs longer than 450 feet, including the third-longest hit this season in all of baseball, a 480-foot bomb off David Hale at Coors Field on June 2.

Only Stanton, who owns the two longest homers this season (both were 484 feet), has hit more homers of 450 feet or longer than Pederson. The rookie, though, owns the longest true distance of home runs, an average of 428.9 feet.

With Pederson climbing the All-Star voting charts and making a push to play in the Midsummer Classic, it could make for a fun home run derby in Cincinnati if the rookie, Stanton and Bryce Harper are among those chosen to represent the National League.

"If I'm invited to the All-Star Game to play, I'd take it into consideration," Pederson said Friday of participating in the derby. "I'll take any of the home runs I hit -- long or short. They all feel good."

Pederson said he enjoys getting into challenges of who can hit the ball farther with teammates Andre Eithier and Adrian Gonzalez during batting practice. "They always think they hit the ball farther," Pederson said. "No doubt Stanton hits it further than I do, though. He's a freak."

Puig still ailing: Yasiel Puig was not in the Dodgers' lineup for the third game in a row Friday because of a torn callus on his left palm. Puig took batting practice indoors at Marlins Park, but still felt discomfort and tossed his bat in frustration when he returned to his locker.

"At this point we've won a couple, so it's just like we might as well [let him heal]," manager Don Mattingly said. "We've got two games under our belt. And we've played pretty good. Might as well take another shot, really let it heal up and let it go from there."

Baez activated: The Dodgers reinstated right-handed reliever Pedro Baez (right pectoral strain) from the disabled list Friday and optioned left-hander Ian Thomas to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Baez hasn't pitched for the Dodgers since May 13 but should get thrown right into the fire, Mattingly said.

The Dodgers' bullpen has been getting a lot of work lately, posting 8 1/3 consecutive scoreless frames since Wednesday.

"Good to have him back for sure," Mattingly said of Baez, who didn't allow a run in his previous eight big league appearances before going on the DL. "He was a guy that was really giving us a number of different things -- a guy that we could use late, a guy that we could bridge to get to the back end. Pretty confident he can handle pretty much everything we throw at him."