Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez went through his ups and downs in 2017, as going into the season he was expected to take on a bigger role after the departure of the team’s primary set-up man from the year prior, Joe Blanton.
To start off the season, Baez was exceptional filling that role. Prior to the All-Star break he boasted a 1.43 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 38 appearances. Baez’s monthly ERAs were all below 1.70 for the first four months of the season, but in the last two months of the season is when the 29-year-old began to falter.
In 10 appearances during August, Baez yielded a 3.38 ERA, which can still be considered respectable. But he struggled greatly in the final month of the season, giving up 14 hits and 10 earned runs in 8.2 innings (10.38 ERA) across 11 September appearances.
Despite the subpar performances, Baez’s teammates and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts continued to voice their confidence in the right-hander.
Baez went into the offseason as one of the team’s arbitration-eligible players. The process will be avoided, however, as he agreed to a one-year contract, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
Pedro Baez, who will have to worry about a pitch clock this year, gets $1.5 million from #Dodgers
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 12, 2018
Because of his falters down the stretch in 2017, Baez went from being a high-leverage reliever that Roberts could rely on, to not making a single postseason appearance and being left off the roster altogether in two of the Dodgers three playoff series’.
Overall on the season Baez still put up solid numbers, going 3-6 with a 2.95 ERA, 4.44 FIP and 1.33 WHIP while striking out 64 and walking 29 in 64 innings of work.
This offseason marked the first that Baez was eligible for salary arbitration, so he still has two more arbitration-eligible years before becoming a free agent.