Dodgers Hopeful Stint On Injured List Wil Help Pedro Baez Prepare For Postseason
Pedro Baez
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a key member of their bullpen last week when Pedro Baez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain.

The right-hander hasn’t looked like himself this year, as he’s striking out significantly fewer batters, issuing more free passes and giving up more home runs than the previous season.

But perhaps most notably, Baez’s velocity is down as well. It’s led to him posting a career-high 3.97 ERA, 5.34 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in 11.1 innings thus far (11 appearances).

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hopes the time on the shelf will allow Baez to return to form in time for the postseason. “I hadn’t heard anything about this injury until two nights ago, so I think it’s new,” Roberts recently said.

“I don’t think that he has been 100% physically right, for me. Hopefully this can be a good thing in the sense of getting his body back, getting this groin thing taken care of, and once we get him back we can ride him throughout the postseason.”

Given their current position in the standings and the depth of the bullpen, the Dodgers have the luxury of slow-playing Baez to ensure he is back to full health for the playoffs.

Having wrapped up the first half of play with a Major League-best 22-8 record, FanGraphs’ updated day-by-day projections gives the Dodgers a 100% chance of reaching the postseason.

And even with the absence of Baez, the Dodgers arguably still boast the Majors’ best bullpen. Kenley Jansen (0.77), Dylan Floro (0.69), Blake Treinen (0.75), Caleb Ferguson (0.79), Jake McGee (0.90) and Adam Kolarek (0.00) all entered Tuesday with sub-one ERAs.

Joe Kelly has yet to allow a run in seven appearances this season as well, but he is currently on the IL with right shoulder inflammation. Kelly will have to serve a five-game suspension after he is activated.

Where the Dodgers bullpen ranks among other MLB teams

Entering Tuesday, the Dodgers’ group of relievers ranks third in all of baseball with 2.3 FanGraphs’ WAR, trailing only the Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics (2.5).

However, L.A.’s bullpen leads the league in numerous categories, including ERA (1.82), home runs per nine innings (0.51) and ground ball percentage (50.3).

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