Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez hasn’t throw a single pitch for the Dodgers in well over a month. How well can he bounce back after his rehab stint?
The injury bug has struck yet again, and it appears the Dodgers pitching staff has received the biggest bite.We are only halfway through the 2018 season and there are currently ten Dodger pitchers on the disabled list. One of those ten on that list is the hard-throwing Pedro Baez.
Baez has missed nearly a month and a half of baseball due to right bicep tendinitis. Pedro Baez made an appearance in his rehab first stint in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. In a 5-2 Dodgers win, Baez threw a perfect 6th inning including a strikeout.
Pedro Baez starts a rehab assignment with @okc_dodgers today
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) July 17, 2018
In his 30.2 innings of work with the Dodgers this season, Baez owns a 3.23 ERA. He has allowed eleven earned runs alongside 36 strikeouts. As the Dodgers begin the second half of the season in Milwaukee, having healthy arms and bats is obviously the most important.
After the Machado trade was finalized, Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi told us that adding another arm is still a possibility. I believe that an extra bullpen guy would be a huge addition to this bullpen. With Kenley closing things out on the back end, he needs some middle relief help to hold the lead the Dodgers’ bats are offering.
The addition of Dylan Floro has been very important for this staff. Yes, he’s only appeared in a handful of games, but he’s shown great stuff including some wicked movement on that sinker of his. Floro has allowed just a run in his 4 2/3 innings of work. He can definitely own that setup role as long he continues to dominate and stay consistent.
During his time with the Dodgers, Pedro Baez has received his fair share of hate tweets and comments from fans. Are Dodger fans taking it out on him for his lack of urgency? Is it because of his inefficiency on the mound? I believe what really pushed fans over the edge was Baez’s attempted pitch that took a turn for the worst. I’d say this tweet pretty much sums up what we just witnessed.
In case you missed it, here's a simulation of the Pedro Baez RBI Balk pic.twitter.com/v23sbSnyoq
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) April 28, 2018
All jokes aside, Pedro Baez has obviously had his ups and downs throughout his time with the Dodgers. At the age of the thirty, the fastball velocity is still there, it’s just whether he’s hitting his spots or missing terribly. In his first year with Los Angeles, Baez threw his fast ball over 80% of the time, averaging out at about 95 MPH. The percentage is now down to 62% and the velocity is about the same.
Forced to use an alternative pitch now that the fastball us being used a lot less, Baez resorts to the breaking ball. The slider has never been his favorite, but he knows he can use it while ahead in the count. This is a pitch that has been used more and more as the years go on. This is vital for someone like Baez. It’s okay to miss while ahead, but just don’t miss in the wrong spot.
Barring any type of set back, I’m assuming Baez could be back within a week or two. The scoreless rehab outing with OKC is definitely a positive moving forward. The Dodgers could use fresh arm as they begin the second half with tough series against Milwaukee and Philadelphia. This is just the start to another push for October for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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