As of the time of this writing, the Dodgers are 17 games over .500 and have the best bullpen in the National League by ERA. As impressive as the relief core has been this season, they’ve been doing it without the help of Pedro Baez over the last few weeks, and Joe Kelly for most of the short season.
Today, Dave Roberts provided an update on the pair of flame-throwing right-handers.
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After Baez was spotted throwing off the mound at Dodger Stadium, Doc said the two could be pretty close to making their returns.
Petey threw the baseball really well. It was probably 30 pitches — used his entire mix and the ball was coming out good.
Dave said the next steps for Pedro include a bullpen on Thursday and potentially facing hitters on Sunday before being activated soon after. So if La Mula is getting closer, how far off is Joe Kelly?
He threw a good ‘pen yesterday, so I think Joe is sort of on Petey’s schedule. I don’t know if he’s gonna throw another ‘pen tomorrow, but I think that sometime this weekend he’ll throw another one and shortly thereafter face some hitters. So I think that he and Petey sometime late next week makes sense.
While Baez has only been out of action since August 20th, Kelly hasn’t appeared in a game since all the way back on August 8th, which is a long time in a 60 game season). Moreover, once NSB Joe is activated, he’ll still have to serve a 5-game suspension for throwing a ball near Houston cheaters Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa.
The pair have combined to allow 5 earned runs (all on Baez) in 17.2 innings pitched in 2020. In their place, the Dodgers have been relying more on Dylan Floro and Blake Treinen for the middle innings. Additionally, lefty relievers have faced a few more right-handed batters than likely would have been expected heading into the season.
With just over 20 games remaining in the regular season, Joe and Petey are definitely cutting it close.