The Dodgers begin the NLDS on Friday against the Diamondbacks with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound. They released the NLDS roster on Friday morning and the inclusion of Pedro Baez left Dodgers Nation’s comments and mentions riddled with opposition. Dave Roberts caught up with the media before Game 1 and, of course, was asked about why Baez was included.

This is what he had to say:

Ultimately Pedro has been a big part of what we’ve done all year. I trust him and arguably he’s been our highest leverage reliever, outside of Kenley, all year.

Roberts was also asked about the inclusion of Kyle Farmer and what that does for the team. This was his response:

I think having the third catcher just gives us the flexibility to use either Austin or Yasmani in a big spot off the bench and have coverage with Kyle and also I just love Kyle’s at-bat quality. He can play third, he can play some second, some first, so he gives us that versatility.

Dave Roberts also told reporters that Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu. Charlie Culberson, Joc Pederson, and possibly Adrian Gonzalez will all be traveling with the team. Leaving Joc Pederson off of the roster, even with all of his struggles, upset many fans on social media, so this news should cheer them up a bit.

Dave Roberts also told the media that Pedro Baez was chosen over Tim Locastro, who was that late call-up who would have been a pinch-running specialist. It’s clear that a lot of fans don’t trust Baez, and they have every right to have their doubts. Against Arizona this year, Pedro Baez has given up seven runs (five earned) in just eight innings of work. This sounds terrible, but five of those seven runs were given up in 0.1 innings (two appearances) in early September. So he’s been mostly good against the Diamondbacks this year, and has been especially good against Paul Goldschmidt. In his career, Goldschmidt is 1-15 against Baez and has struck out seven times.

Now, I don’t think any statistics or matchup will change fans’ feelings towards Pedro Baez; however, I think they’re important to review in times like this. They offer a story that our biases might not allow us to see, otherwise. Has Pedro Baez given fans reason to cringe every time he steps onto the mound? Sure. But there is a reason why he is on this roster, and it’s not because the front office is too loyal to him or because they felt bad. If that were the case then we’d see Joc Pederson patrolling center field in October like he did for most of the season.

All I know is that this October is going to be one wild ride, so strap in and enjoy.

Dodgers Vs. Diamondbacks NLDS Preview: Position Players