© Sarah Morris, 2020
From 2014, Pedro Báez has been a mainstay in the Dodger bullpen. Although many Dodger fans dislike Báez since he sometimes blew leads, he has been one of the most reliable Dodger relievers over the last 6 years.
The converted third baseman has both a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball, slider, and changeup. His velocity usually has ranged from 97-miles-per-hour to 86-miles-per-hour. However, in 2020, because of a groin injury, Báez’s velocity diminished, making his fastball appeared like his changeup.
A notorious slow worker, Báez has sped up the time between his pitches. With maturity and added confidence in his pitch-selection, Báez works at an average pace between pitches. Every year he has used his slider and changeup more, and when he does, he has experienced greater success.
In 2020, Báez had a difficult time. During spring training, Báez looked great. He arrived late at Summer Camp with no public explanation. In 18 appearances, 17 innings, he had a 3.18 ERA with 13 strikeouts and 7 walks. During the postseason, he pitched 7.2 innings with a 3.52 ERA, 10 strikeouts, and 3 walks.
At 32, Báez will have a major arm injury soon. He will require more than $7 million a year to stay, and the Dodgers will have better uses for their money. If Báez was younger, the Dodgers would be smart to keep him.