You May be Done with Pedro Baez, but the Dodgers Aren’t (nor Should They be)

Chances are, Pedro Baez sealed his 2017 fate in his abysmal outing last night against the Philadelphia Phillies. Baez’s 2/3 of an inning was a microcosm of his season: There was frustration and angst mixed with flashes of hope. Dave Roberts, his manager, faithfully stuck with him through all of it, but in the end, Baez flickered out and couldn’t finish, leaving behind a mess in his wake.

Baez faced seven batters. He gave up a triple, a double, walked two (including a bases loaded walk), and he hit a batter. In the end, he gave up four runs. Yes, it was painful to watch. Yes, plenty of folks questioned Roberts’ mental state for throwing Baez into the fire in a game the Dodgers led by only one run.

It was the right move at the right time.

The Dodgers are going to clinch the NL West. It’s coming. They’ve already been assured a playoff spot, and they have a small cushion in the home field advantage races. Last night’s game wasn’t critical, and it was a prime time to give Baez one last shot at redemption. He was going to start an inning against the bottom of the Phillies lineup. It wasn’t necessarily about building his confidence. If that were the case, Roberts or pitching coach Rick Honeycutt would have visited the mound in support of their embattled pitcher. Nope, this was a last chance run that Baez would have to make all by himself. He was going to have to prove to himself and the Dodgers that he could find his way all by himself.

Maybe you were done with Baez two weeks ago. Heck, a month ago. However, the Dodgers weren’t ready to give up on Baez, just like they haven’t been ready to give up on Curtis Granderson. Grandy’s case deserves its own column, but this is about Baez. My point in invoking Granderson is that Roberts kept faith in him long after many (including me) had given up. Roberts saw the Dodgers still had some time (and perhaps the FO forced his hand), and Granderson seems to be turning a corner. Up until last night, the Dodgers’ brain trust was hoping the same patience would pay off for Baez.

Well, we all know how that turned out. At least the case should be settled now, and we probably won’t see Baez until everything is a lock for the Dodgers and Baez can get in an inning or two just to try to wash these bad memories out of his head. Make no mistake, that needs to happen, because Pedro Baez may not be riding on into the postseason with his team, but he’s not riding off into the sunset either.

Pedro Baez is still going to be a Dodger in 2018, and the team will still be expecting big things from him. The Dodgers don’t yet have a strong “Bridge to Jansen”, and Baez is still in that race. He’s a long shot, but the Dodgers are still placing bets on him.

Despite what your eye test may tell you about Pedro Baez, the stat heads running things for the Dodgers see this big number: Pedro Baez has a 1.36 WHIP in 2017. Even better, he holds a 1.12 career WHIP. For comparison, Clayton Kershaw has a career 1.00 WHIP. That’s how close they are (numbers-wise), and THAT’S one big reason why they still hold out hope for Pedro.

Baez is on a one-year contract worth just over a half-million dollars. That’s a bargain to the cash-rich Dodgers, and they’ll probably negotiate him down to an even lower price after his poor showing this year. What’s not to like about taking a chance on a bargain basement, young power pitcher, who just might fill out his potential and play a pivotal role next season? The kid has the arm, and if he’s got the heart, he just might succeed.

Oh, Baez isn’t going anywhere, except perhaps, up from here.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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19 thoughts on “You May be Done with Pedro Baez, but the Dodgers Aren’t (nor Should They be)

  1. If the is 2018, that’s fine, he can come back and continue to improve

    If this is 2017 playoffs, he should absolutely NOT be on any playoff roster

  2. First off Oscar, he is no kid. Next year he will be 30. His BB to K ratio in his career is close to 4-1. This year it is less than 2-1. He walks way too many hitters and gets himself into bad situations. In close games putting runners on base is not a good idea. His career ERA is 3.11. Between the walks and the hits he has given up he allows better than a base runner per inning. The last 2 years he has given up 20 HR’s in 133 innings. He has great stuff, but rely’s way too much on his fastball, and if he does not have control of that pitch he is very hittable. He threw one stinking change up last night and it was the best pitch he threw. He aims the ball instead of trying to pitch. He gives Dodger fans heart burn the minute he leaves the bull pen. For that alone he should be traded…..Oh by the way, the fans other whipping boy, Stripling, he has a better WHIP than Baez does this year. And Baez is # 6 on the HR’s allowed list….Cingrani and Watson both have better WHIP’s than Baez too……

  3. I think Stripling lost his playoff spot the other night too. So I think it’s going to be Buehler, Morrow, Watson and Cingrani. Maeda and maybe Wood will be long relief.

    1. Buehler? That’s frightening. What has he done to land him on the mound in October? I just don’t see anything.

      He may turn out to be a good’un one of these days, but not this year. I might even take Stripling over Buehler right now.

  4. They are overpaying Baez, I could do what he is doing and I would take a lot less cash to do it.

    Just for suicide prevention purposes: Don’t be shocked if the Dodgers get swept in this 4 game series with the mighty Phillies.

    Damn you Mo, that lawn job has completely destroyed this once beautiful Dodgers front yard. And fix the mailbox, you bastard!

  5. Stole this from another blog. It is just great, and From David Schoenfield at ESPN.

    The best phrase? Depth is fun, until everyone stops hitting.

    Who starts in the outfield? Depth is fun, until everyone stops hitting and the manager doesn’t know who to play. I think we can determine this: Chris Taylor will start in center field (and hit leadoff) and Yasiel Puig will start in right field. Taylor has struggled in September (.212, 19 strikeouts, three walks), but he has been the regular starter in center field ever since Joc Pederson was demoted in mid-August, making some starts at shortstop only because Corey Seager has rested a sore elbow at times.

    So that leaves left field. Curtis Granderson is still the likely starter against right-handed pitchers, even though he has hit .126 in 101 plate appearances since coming over from the Mets. That’s a scary number, and I’m sure manager Dave Roberts would love to see Granderson have a couple of big games before fully committing to him. That leaves two other options in a platoon with Kike Hernandez, Cody Bellinger (with Adrian Gonzalez playing first base) or Andre Ethier. I have trouble seeing those as realistic options. Ethier has barely played the past two seasons; you don’t know how he can move out there and you’re basically expecting him to fall out of bed after two years of injuries and expect him to hit. Gonzalez doesn’t look healthy and has barely played in September; he probably doesn’t even make the postseason roster.

    As an aside: Please, Dodgers fans, quit complaining that Granderson ruined the team chemistry. It’s a ridiculous and embarrassing excuse for a team-wide slump.

    The rest of the article talks about each team’s problems… and they all have problems:
    http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/82828/every-playoff-teams-one-big-lineup-question

    1. This game is on Roberts why did he put Stripling in this game, after he gave up a big HR against the Nats, especially after Roberts gave that game away, yesterday?

      Why didn’t Roberts go with Morrow from the begining of the 8th inning, that is on him too!

      And this game wouldn’t have been such a
      big deal, if Roberts didn’t bring Baez in to pitch, and left him in, to lose that previous game.

  6. Baez is much like Hatcher, they both have an issue in their head, so those numbers doesn’t mean a thing!

    Look at Baez’s FIP, that is what kind of reliever he has been this year!

    And that proves that Pedro was more lucky, then good, in the first half of the season.

  7. Words at this point in time are worthless. All you have to do is open your eyes and you obviously know this is not the same team. Be it chemistry, or the rotating lineups, or the bullpen that suddenly throws away leads like free potato chips. Starting pitchers finally look a little better and the bullpen cannot hold a lead. And they don’t wait one or two innings, they are giving it back almost automatically. And it is not to the good teams only, they are getting beat by a team that has the 2nd most losses in the majors. And now, I have serious concern about a couple of the players. Corey Seager is in a slump and I think his elbow has more to do with it than is being reported. Turner has been getting on, but not driving the ball like before. Taylor has looked better the last couple of games, Granderson is what he is, a streaky hitter. Same with Grandal, he looks like he is coming out of his slump and then goes up and strikes out again. The entire team is in a slump. It is not just one thing. It is everything. Bullpen, rotation, hitting, managerial decisions, all of the things that made them go are now out of sync. I have no suggestions that would make it better. I, like all of us will just sit here and watch and hope for the best.

  8. I haven’t commented on this site for a while but I can’t stop myself tonight. To compare Clayton Kershaw to Pedro Baez is – well –
    inexcusable?
    irrational?
    just plain wrong on so many levels?

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