Dodgers Injury Update: Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly Advancing To Face Hitters
Joe Kelly
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has arguably been the best in all of baseball this season, and that has been without much production from two of their relievers they were expecting to be key contributors.

Pedro Baez and Joe Kelly have both spent time on the 10-day injured list the past few weeks, and after a stretch of some uncertainty it appears both are making progress in their respective recoveries.

“Joe is going to face some hitters this weekend; I’m not sure if it’s Saturday or Sunday. Pedro is going to throw another bullpen [Thursday], so if we look out, he’ll face hitters probably Sunday or Monday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I think later next week he’ll be available to come back. I think for me, hopefully we’ll get both of those guys back at the end of the week.”

Baez is dealing with a right groin strain that has limited him to 11 appearances this season. When he has taken the mound, Baez has pitched to a 3.97 ERA, 5.34 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with eight strikeouts and five walks in 11.1 innings.

Given the nature of a shortened 2020 season, the Dodgers don’t exactly have time on their side in getting injured players back. They believe that the time off will help Baez prepare for the postseason though, which is a good sign that they’re not too concerned about the groin injury.

Kelly has not allowed a run in 6.1 innings across seven appearances this season, giving up five hits with five strikeouts and five walks.

Kelly still faces suspension

While Kelly could potentially return as early as next week, whenever he is activated he will be forced to serve a five-game suspension that was handed down by the league after he threw at the Houston Astros earlier this season.

The suspension originally was for eight games although was reduced after an appeal. It has remained in the spotlight amid other incidents involving the Astros, and the benches clearing between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays after Aroldis Chapman threw near Mike Brosseau’s.

“I know there’s some history between the two teams, but I don’t know Chapman’s history with that and suspensions, so it’s not necessarily apples to apples as far as what’s deemed intent with Joe and Chapman,” Roberts said.

“I do know to go glove side, at the head, that’s very difficult for a pitcher to do. I don’t know much and I’m just glad I’m not a part of that situation.”

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