The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a bit of a scare in Tuesday’s opening bout with the Tampa Bay Rays when right-hander Pedro Baez had to be helped off the mound after taking a 103 mph line drive to his right knee.
Baez entered the game looking to record the final two outs of the seventh inning following Clayton Kershaw’s superb outing. He ultimately faced just the one batter in Rays shortstop Willy Adames before exiting the contest in noticeable pain.
Shortly after the incident, the Dodgers diagnosed Baez with a right upper knee contusion. He underwent precautionary X-rays after the game, but they came back negative to the relief of both sides.
Baez did not appear in Wednesday’s finale against the Rays, but he managed to make some progress. He was moving around well pregame and showed no signs of favoring his right leg.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts later revealed that Baez has responded well to treatment and could return to action as early as Friday when the club begins a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It’s a really, really positive day. He’s moving around well, responding to treatment. He’ll be down today (Wednesday) but the potential of having him pitch on Friday is very possible.”
Considering how serious Baez’s injury looked at first glance, Roberts’ recent update certainly qualifies as a positive development for the Dodgers. Baez even admitted that he thought he had broken a bone when it first happened.
Baez has been one of the club’s most-trusted relievers in high-leverage situations this season, so to potentially get him back after missing just one game is great news for the bullpen.
In 22 games, Baez has compiled a 2-2 record, 3.38 ERA, 2.47 FIP and 0.84 WHIP over 21.1 innings pitched. He has accumulated 22 strikeouts against four walks and is currently allowing a career-low 0.4 home runs per nine.
In other injury news surrounding the Dodgers’ relief corps, left-hander Caleb Ferguson was recently activated off the 10-day injured list following successful rehab assignments at High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
He showed signs of rust in Wednesday’s finale against the Rays, however, yielding three baserunners and three runs in one inning of work.