Would it surprise you to know that for the past 365 days, Pedro Baez’s ERA is 1.62? Would you be shocked to discover that with RISP, hitters are batting .104 against Pedro? Would you believe that Pedro Baez is much better in a high leverage situation that a low leverage situation? All of that is true. Look at the stats (all from Baseball-Reference):
- Low Leverage Situations: BA – .271
- Medium Leverage Situations: BA – .203
- High Leverage Situations – BA – .156
All fans remember is that he almost gave away the game last night, but I am here to suggest that while Pedro Baez is not perfect, polished or a great pitcher (yet), he is a very valuable piece in the Dodgers bullpen… even in the 8th inning. Last night he had ZERO control, walking three batters and giving up a run and allowing an inherited runner to score. He’s maddening at times and magnificent at other times. He is a work-in-progress. He has picked up his pace but still lacks confidence in his off-speed pitches and struggles with location at times.
Last year, he gave up a HR every 6.7 at-bats. This year, it is every 8.6 innings. With Brandon Morrow on the team, there is no reason for him to be the 8th inning guy, but Doc is going to put him there at times, because you need more than one of those guys. Pedro was excellent before the All-Star Game with an ERA of 1.43 and his struggled a little since the All-Star Game with an 3.14 ERA. Again, that is not horrible, but it’s not what the Dodgers want from him. Here are the relievers ERA’s since the All-Star Game:
- Avilan – 0.00
- Paredes – 0.00
- Fields – 1.80
- Jansen – 2.04
- Stripling – 2.37
- Baez – 3.14
- Watson – 8.44
- Cingrani – 11.25
Honeycutt needs to get one of the last two fixed. The Dodgers don’t need them both, but they do need one on the playoff roster, unless Grant Dayton can return to last years’ form. One thing to consider also is that the brain-trust knows that other playoff teams are scouting the Dodgers pitchers and chronicling what pitches they throw in certain situations. Since the Dodgers have such a huge lead, some of what they are doing is for the purpose of counter-intelligence – to contravene the other team’s scouting report. I’m not saying they are trying to lose, but they aren’t going to allow a pattern to develop that is easily recognized. These guys are too smart for that.
I have enjoyed watching the maturation of Pedro Baez… and he still has a ways to go. He has blown two saves this year, but let’s not forget that Kenley blew six last year and he turned out OK. These guys will blow some games – it’s baseball. Try and keep your perspective. If Baez were put on waivers, every team in baseball would claim him. I think Pedro will surprise some of you. Yes, I know ERA is not the end-all, be-all and that his peripherals are somewhat skewed, but ERA is what it is, no matter how you get there.
Rants and Raves
- Yasiel Puig is sure working hard on his at-bats and it’s working. He is sticking to the plan and trusting the results.
- The Dodgers will likely have 7 players with 20+ HR – Count ’em!
- Alex Wood needs to go on the DL for two weeks – it’s obvious he has physical issues. Let that SC joint cool down.
- I don’t see why Clayton needs a rehab start and if Wood goes on the DL, Clayton should make the start in the majors, not in OKC. Clayton is a little miffed by it. Ken Gurnick wrote this:
An impatient Kershaw believes the rehab start is unnecessary.
“Health-wise, I could have pitched in the big leagues 10 days ago. But that’s not the plan, obviously,” Kershaw said. “I don’t feel I missed much time. I kept throwing all the way through. I guess it’s the luxury we have as a team.
“You can’t simulate a Major League game. You’ve just got to do it. Sim games are really hard. You try to create intensity, but you can’t and it’s really not a good recipe, but I guess it’s what you have to do.”
- Roberts says Clayton will not start on Saturday for LA. Methinks it’s 50-50. Clayton just might sell him on it!
- Henry Ramos was 2-6, Kyle Farmer was 3-4, Dickson was 2-4 with 5 RBI… actually, everyone hit as OKC scored 17 runs.
- Dustin May went 8 innings and allowed 2 earned runs, throwing 97 pitches. He’s going to be a horse. He only walked one and struck out 6. His two runs were solo HR.
- Conner Wong was 3-4. Keep and eye on him…
- Jeren Kendall is still struggling at GL – .198 BA.622 OPS It’s a big jump from Rookie ball.
- Hey, has anyone seen Jose De Leon (10.13 ERA), Jharel Cotton (5.63 ERA), Frankie Montas (7.03 ERA), Grant Holmes (4.73 ERA in AA), Scott Schebler (.234 BA), Jose Peraza (.631 OPS), Matt Kemp (fewer HR than Yasmani) and Brandon McCarthy (abducted by aliens)?