Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed free agent relief pitcher Pedro Baez to a Minor League contract and assigned him to their Arizona Complex League team.
Baez was designated for assignment by the Houston Astros on April 26 and released after going unclaimed on waivers. He has thrown just 2.1 innings in three games this season while allowing six runs (three earned), striking out two and walking three.
The right-hander made his MLB debut with the Dodgers on May 5, 2014, and stayed with the organization through the 2020 season. He then signed a two-year, $12.5 million contract with the Astros in January 2021.
Baez has only appeared in seven games with 6.2 innings pitched and a 5.40 ERA since inking the deal due to shoulder soreness that affected his velocity and overall effectiveness.
A member of the 2020 World Series Dodgers, Baez has seen his fastball velocity plummet from 95.8 mph in 2019 — his last full season of work — to just 90.4 mph in 2021 and 89.7 mph this year. Additionally, Baez’s slider has dropped from around 87 mph to 82 mph, and his changeup is down from 86 mph to 83 mph.
Still, during the 2021 season, he was effective despite the small sample, with a 2.08 ERA and an impressive 10.38 strikeouts per nine to only 2.08 walks per nine.
Baez also had success over his seven years with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old appeared in 355 games while pitching 356 innings and posted an ERA of 3.08 over that stretch. He also averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings and three walks per nine.
If Baez is able to get healthy and re-discover his velocity, he could work his way into the Dodgers bullpen as a middle reliever.
But ultimately, the move seems to be a low-risk signing to add pitching depth to their organization as they wait for the returns of multiple injured relief pitchers, including Tommy Kahnle, Blake Treinen, Victor González and Danny Duffy.
Dodgers Minor Leaguer Yefry Ramirez wins Pitcher of the Week honors
Yefry Ramírez became the latest Dodgers Minor Leaguer to earn recognition this season as he was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for May 9-15.
Ramírez made just one start for Triple-A Oklahoma City during that stretch in what was a dominant performance. He allowed just three singles and a walk, induced three double plays and collected eight strikeouts over a complete-game shutout against Triple-A Round Rock (Texas Rangers affiliate).
Ramírez’s start was Oklahoma City’s first nine-inning shutout in four years and it was the team’s largest shutout win in their Bricktown era (since 1998). The complete game was Ramírez’s fourth of his career, but the nine innings represented his longest outing.
Make sure to follow Dodger Blue on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!