As was the case in 2016, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching depth is already being put to the test, and the regulars season hasn’t even begun yet.
Among the injured pitchers are Brock Stewart, who recently received a cortisone shot on his injured shoulder, Josh Raven, who aggravated a groin injury and will begin the season on the disabled list, and Sergio Romo, who just recently returned to game action after dealing with back stiffness when he came back from playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Another pitcher who is currently injured that figures to be a big part of the Dodgers bullpen in 2017 is Pedro Baez. The right-hander has yet to pitch in a Cactus League game, as he has been dealing with a bruised right thumb.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Baez is another reliever likely to begin the season on the DL:
Baez needs to be able to pitch multiple innings, Roberts said. Translation: That makes him unlikely to make Opening Day.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 26, 2017
Baez was struck by a comebacker during live batting practice and was shut down while receiving treatment. Pain didn’t subside when Baez attempted to resume throwing, and he was shut down a second time.
Although Baez is not expected to be with the team on Opening Day, he’s scheduled to continue throwing this spring.
Baez ranked second on the team with 73 appearances last season. In 74 innings of work he struck out 83 and yielded a 3.04 ERA. Baez, along with Romo, figure to be the primary setup men to Kenley Jansen, with left-hander Grant Dayton another who may be in the mix.