Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
While the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the 2020 World Series was naturally discussed in what it meant for the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner, Pedro Baez is also among the organization’s longest-tenured players.
He signed with the Dodgers in January of 2007, converted from third base to relief pitcher six years later, and made his MLB debut in 2014. Baez emerged as a trusted relief pitcher for former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and also earned the trust of current skipper Dave Roberts.
Baez was a late arrival to Summer Camp due to coming in contact with a teammate who had contracted COVID-19. While awaiting clearance to join the team at Dodger Stadium, Baez was exposed a second time and forced to reset his quarantine timeline.
That may have ultimately been a factor in his velocity being down through 11 appearances to begin the season. The Dodgers then placed Baez on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain in August.
Baez was improved upon returning in September, allowing just one earned run and collecting five strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched over seven appearances. He closed out the regular season with four consecutive hitless games.
The postseason saw much of the same from the right-hander, though the results of his appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the World Series was very much on Roberts.
After allowing a go-ahead three-run homer before finishing the sixth innings, Roberts told Baez his night was over. However, when the Dodgers took the lead in the seventh, Roberts reversed course and sent Baez back to the mound in the bottom half of the inning.
He wound up allowing a game-tying home run and issuing a walk prior to being removed.
Baez finished the postseason with three earned runs allowed in 7.2 innings over eight appearances. Only Brusdar Graterol (nine) and Blake Treinen (11) pitched in more playoff games than Baez this year. Victor Gonzalez and Kenley Jansen also had eight each.
As Baez was looking to find his footing after being activated off the IL, he recorded a combined four strikeouts against just one walk in two hitless innings during back-to-back appearances against the Oakland Athletics.
Baez is among the group of Dodgers free agents, and while he has carved out a consistent role with the team, a re-signing may not be a forgone conclusion.
It appeared more so prior to the Dodgers completing a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers to acquire Corey Knebel. Baez’s fate with the team may also be tied to how matters unfold for Treinen on the open market.
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