Pedro Baez is Easy to Hate

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)?



Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 26 Comments

  1. As I stated in the last thread, I have not been all that supportive of Pedro Baez. My lack of support is more due his playoff meltdowns than anything during the regular season. I have been increasingly more enthusiastic this year. I hope last night was just one of those nights, but I still have my doubts. I agree that Doc is going to have to continue to throw Pedro in the 8th (and should), but I would rather see him get beat with his secondary pitch than continue to show his #1 all the time. He has a 20.5 game lead with 39 to play to work on his confidence with that pitch. It is time to forget about Dayton or Liberatore being part of the post-season pen. Neither one is healthy enough, and probably have not been all year. I am more worried about Dayton’s elbow and hope that rest is all that is needed. Let’s see what Avilan can do in more high leverage situations.
    I am hopeful that Honey will find a way to build Watson back up to be the quality setup reliever he used to be with Melancon in the closer role. Whether it’s pitch type/location or confidence, Watson can be a big help for the playoffs, or if he continues to flounder, a non-playoff roster pitcher. Keep throwing him out in high leverage situations and let him succeed or fail. We will know what they have in Watson over the next 5-6 weeks. Tony Cingrani is a long term project (and worthwhile). I do not believe he was acquired to be a part of the playoff roster this year.
    One player that was not mentioned for the Raves OKC win yesterday was Bobby Wilson who went 5-5 with his 11th HR. He is not going to be assigned to the 40 man, but it is still good to see him have a GREAT game.
    With the big lead, it is time for Wood to take a break. He has had a fantastic year, and can afford to take some time off. No, he will not qualify for post-season awards, but he might just be able to lift a WS trophy which should make everything else inconsequential. The Dodgers are being careful with Kershaw and Darvish, now it’s time for Alex to take a seat.

    1. AC

      I couldn’t say that any better, I agree with everything you said.

      Mark you did your best, but it is a hard case to make.

      You really can’t compare Kenley and Baez, because Kenley has never had a confidence problem, as badly, as Baez has had.

      I saw where someone posted on another site, that Baez has really different numbers, from when he pitches in the seventh inning, and in the eighth inning.

      And everyone here , could probably guess, which of these two innings, Baez has better numbers in!

      But on a positive note, Granderson has already made this trade look even better, in only four games.

      Granderson is really good at adjusting from at bat, to at bat, I have noticed.

      And it was really good to see him hit that ball out last night!

      And Puig gains some more confidence, with the ball he hit out last night too!

      That was especially a frustrating game, after we were not able to score any runs, after having the bases loaded, a couple of times, before Granderson hit that ball out.

      And it seems like we have had a problem, beating the Pirates, at their park.

      I hope Buehler can learn how to pitch out of the bullpen, because he and Morrow, could be a very good set up, team.

      I just don’t see Baez getting enough confidence to pitch in a high leverage situation, by the time the post season begins.

      He has lost his confidence badly, a couple of times this year already, once was against the Reds, who are rebuilding, and again last night, in the game against the Pirates..

      And that isn’t something, that is easily acquired, especially if he is going to lose it, against teams like the Reds and the Pirates, because we will be facing even tougher teams, in the post season.

      And I wonder how many batters Watson has hit, since he joined the team.

      It seems like he has came into a game, and hit his first hitter, more then one time, in the short time, he has been with the team.

  2. Mark, I agree with almost everything you wrote but until he trusts his breaking stuff(and I do agree it has improved) he isn’t an 8th inning guy/high leverage guy. Especially come playoff time. Those lineups will be much tougher than the majority of the regular season games. Baez can’t just chuck fastball after fastball to the Nats or Cubs. Doc is testing guys now. It’s also the perfect time to test he breaking stuff. He got beat on a bad slider about 10 days ago and had been chicken shit since. No hate here. Although at games I’ve been too he is one of the douchier guys toward the fans.

  3. when the time that it has taken for Jansen to become the pitcher he has become is considered, I am pleased with Baez’s progress in much less time and feel that he can continue to progress. Still don’t feel that he is willing to risk a mistake with his off pitches and this allows hitters to sit on his fast ball. It would even help with the fast ball if he’d try to locate it in other sectors on occasion.

  4. Alright I will back off Baez. I am an old catcher. I am not going to back off Grandal. Two things I noticed. When Grandal gives the high target to Jansen it is usually just above the strike zone. When he gives the target to Baez it is one foot above the strike zone. Baez throws up there and batters take it because it is to high. Then Baez is in bad counts. Jansen throws up there, but close enough to the strike zone they swing at it. There is something going on between Grandal and Baez that I do not like. They have a lot of conferences. I do not know the game plan. Regardless, I was taught 60 years ago that pitchers must throw to the four quadrants. They are inside and low, outside and low, high and inside and high and outside. You just cannot get by with a fast ball these days. That is my story and I an sticking to it.

    1. From one old catcher to another, I agree with your assessment. I know Mark has a man crush on Grandal but I don’t see the Dodgers resigning him after his contract runs out. Too many other good catchers in the system.

      1. I also have a “man crush” on Barnes and Kay Bear. I would trade Grandal – his value is high – deal from strength. When electronic balls and strikes happen Grandal will be obsolete.

  5. OK a little Granderson talk and it should piss off a few people!!! No it’s not what you think… I love what Granderson brings to the table and it’s exactly what they were looking for last year in Josh Reddick… It just didn’t pan out… A veteran presence, great in the clubhouse and a guy who could rake…
    Oh well, I’m happy he’s playing well in Houston…

  6. I think every relief pitcher is going to have a bad game now and then. The important thing is to learn from it and bounce back. Trust in your stuff is crucial and I agree with a lot of comments in the past 2 posts on Baez. The bullpen as a whole has thrown a lot of innings with the starters not going real deep most games, but reinforcements are around the corner on Sept 1st. The main guys will get some needed rest, even though it may cost a couple wins.

    Wood getting a breather is good timing with Darvish and Kershaw due back soon. Stewart can handle 2 spot starts in the meantime. The Dodgers get a gift price today from the odds makers, I guess they don’t like the pitching match ups but the Bucs starter has struggled a lot lately. He does have a good curve ball and piles up K’s. The team needs 5 out of Stewart and I would think Cingrani comes in for 2 after that, he is the most rested.

    The teams misses Cody but Grandy has really picked up the slack. He is a smart hitter, does not chase and feasts on mistakes. JT has a real battle on his hands for the batting title with Blackmon coming on strong. I’m rooting for him but don’t think he can hold him off. Taylor, Seager and Utley had long days yesterday at the plate but I will credit good pitching. The likely lineup today has hit Taillon hard in the past, though a small sample size.

    1. It’s tough to hold of someone who hits in that ridiculous ball park. The last I checked Blackman is hitting .390 in Denver. Imagine what Tony Gwynn or Wade Boggs would have hit their in their heydays.

      1. Hawkeye

        It isn’t a coincidence, that most of the players, that have won the batting title, in the last few years, are players, from the Rockies.

        1. Four Rockies have won the batting title, since 2010.

          And I still remember when Justine Morneau sat out the last weekend of the season, to win the crown, over the Pirate’s super utility guy.

          I didn’t think that was fair, because the Pirates were in a play off race.

          And I know he wasn’t the only guy to do that, but the real pure hitters, wouldn’t even think about doing that.

        2. Rockies players have won 3 of the last 4 batting titles. Since coming into the league in 1993 they have won 9 batting titles and finished second 6 times.

          1. Vegas

            Thanks for the info!

            It just doesn’t seem like it is a fair playing field, for Turner right now, and any other player, that is competing for a hitting crown, down the stretch of the season, against a Rockie player.


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-handed pitcher Alex Wood on the 10-day disabled list with left SC joint inflammation.

    Stewart, 25, will make his 10th appearance of the season and third start in tonight’s contest at Pittsburgh. Stewart has posted a 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22 IP) with one save for Los Angeles while holding hitters to a .203 average. This will mark his fourth stint with the Dodgers in 2017 and he has no record with a 2.03 ERA (3 ER/13.1 IP) in four starts for the OKC Dodgers this season.

    Wood, a first-time All-Star this year, allowed three runs in 6.0 innings last night in the no-decision and is 14-1 with a 2.41 ERA (33 ER.123.1 IP) in 22 games (20 starts) this season. This will be his second trip to the disabled list in 2017, having missed time from May 29-June 9 with the same injury.

    Team places Cody Bellinger on the 10-day disabled list

    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Ravin from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger on the 10-day disabled list with a mild right ankle sprain, retroactive to Aug. 20.

    Ravin, 29, has made two stints with the big league club this season, recording one save while posting a 3.38 ERA (2 ER/5.1 IP) in four relief appearances. The Southern California native has held hitters to a .111 average (2-for-18).

    Bellinger sprained the ankle during Saturday’s game in Detroit while playing right field and has missed the past two games. The overwhelming favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year leads the Dodgers with 34 homers, 79 RBI and a .612 slugging percentage. He is just one home run shy of catching Hall of Famer Mike Piazza for the most home runs in a single season by a Dodger rookie. Despite being called up on April 25, the All-Star first baseman/outfielder currently ranks among the best in the National League in home runs (2nd), slugging percentage (4th), RBI (14th) and OPS (.968, 7th).

  8. Granderson is a class guy. A real credit to the game. Proud to wear the uniform that Jackie wore. His father reminded him of that right after the trade. Too bad he’s not 10 years younger. These games with the Pirates were not going to be easy. Good to battle back yesterday with a gimpy lineup. Wood being out is s huge problem. If he’s not fixed by playoff time, Darvish and Hill will have to be the guys. Not a good formula behind Kershaw. One thing about Baez is that he is durable. No arm problems there. Not yet. Mark left Morrow off his list. He has become an important piece of this team.

    1. “With Brandon Morrow on the team, there is no reason for him to be the 8th inning guy, “

  9. Well Roberts saying bellinger slight sprain a few days but can pinch hit. Guess what on dl. Thanks to the depth faz has built we can get healthy but our pitching is going to test that depth severely if kershaw stays on dl. He says he is ready let him pitch Saturday.

  10. #1 – Brock Stewart will be a good starter when he masters another pitch, preferably the curve. Until then, he’s a great piece for the bullpen.

    #2 – Speaking of the bullpen: 7 Shutout innings! Not too shabby!

  11. That was a wild one and ended up a bullpen game. I figured Stewart would go 5 and Cingrani 2, Roberts had to use Ravin and Watson to get through 5, but the bats came through. I am not sure what the problem is with Stewart, but his location failed him as he could not get out of the 3rd. They may try Stripling instead when the spot comes up again.

    Taylor was huge and Puig, Seager and Grandal chipped in as well. JT with an 0 for 5 tonight, but Blackmon is 0 for 4 and Justin still leads .336 to .333. Jansen struck out the side in the 9th.

    The match up tomorrow favors the Blue as Hill has pitched well lately though not deep while Williams gave up 8 runs in his last start and also 8 runs when he faced the Dodgers in May.

    Hats off to AGon with his 2000th hit tonight.

    1. Roberts said Stewart was under the weather, but tried to gut it out, but only had one pitch working. Stripling probably starting on Saturday.

  12. I agree Mark, Kershaw will start on Saturday. He is one guy I think can start without a rehab start. He has a better chance of giving us 5 Innings than Stewart.

  13. I still have concerns on who will bridge the gap from the 6th to the 9th. Still no defined roles right now. Morrow looks like the best choice right now for the 8th and maybe Josh Fields for the 7th but these roles seem to change every week. I hope we won’t burn out the pen before October rolls around. I know Baez has great stats but he just doesn’t seem to have the feel/control right now. My other concern is we are mowing down teams with little effort right now. Are we piking too soon or are we just not playing the playoff caliber teams such as Washington, Boston, or Houston? Is there a huge gap between these teams and the rest of the field? I would love to hear others take on this.

    I hope Honey can get Yu on track and I also hope Woods AC joint flareup isn’t too concerning. This is really an exciting year to be a Dodger fan but it’s not a slam dunk as some may be thinking. It’s just a weird feeling of it being too easy right now and I can’t decide between the competition or if we are really that great. Go Blue

  14. You have Stripling, Watson and Cingrani plus Avilan for middle innings, with Fields, Morrow and Baez the preferred setup for Jansen. What’s wrong with that? 7 shutout innings by the bullpen yesterday is not good enough? There is help on the way Sept 1st and all season they have had guys up and down to help out with fresh arms.

    Dodgers don’t make the schedule and have to play the team in front of them. These teams get up for the chance to knock off the hottest team in baseball. The team is often down but scraps back to win, and that is hard to teach and builds a confidence throughout the team. The Sept schedule is much tougher: 13 home and 16 road games including 3 with the Nats on the road, 3 with the Snakes at home and 6 with the Rocks, 4 home and 2 away. 12 games against teams with winning records and 17 with losing records including the Giants for 6, Pads for 7 and Phils for 4. They will be tested in the season’s final month, but the most important thing is having the key players healthy and rested while not giving up too much mojo.

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