Similar to other aspects of the team, the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has had its struggles, impressive at times and been forced to adjust due to injuries.
Recent injuries to Paul Maholm and Chris Perez has created an opportunity in the bullpen that third baseman turned reliever Pedro Baez has taken advantage of. Baez is in his fourth stint with the Dodgers this season.
Manager Don Mattingly said the reliever could be a factor for the team this season or in the near future, according to Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
He looks like a guy who has a good chance to be a part of what we do. If not this year, then moving forward,” Mattingly said. “Right now, he’s growing up. He’s getting better. We’ll take it for what it is.”
Mattingly also credited Baez for navigating his way in difficult situations and believes his success bodes well for his confidence:
You hope that he gains confidence,” Mattingly said. “The two times I used him, I gave him the total heart of the lineup. He did great. I think with a young player and a guy who just switched to pitching not too long ago, if they come up and have success, it’s something that inside you says, ‘I can do this.'”
In his sporadic time up with the Dodgers, Baez has appeared in seven games. Only once, in his first outing which was on May 5, has he allowed a run to score. However, only once has Baez entered the game with the Dodgers in the lead, which he managed to protect.
If Baez is able to remain on the track he’s on, he would give the Dodgers another power arm to call on out of the bullpen. The right-hander began the season in Double-A Chattanooga before being promoted to the Major League roster.
Since that point, Baez has been optioned to and from Triple-A Albuquerque. While Baez has performed well, he could be on borrowed time as he may be the corresponding roster move once Chris Perez is reinstated from the disabled list.
Dodgers Looking To Add Another Reliever?