If you’ve watched the Dodgers over the course of the last three or four seasons, then you understand the suspense (and the patience) that came with a Pedro Báez outing.
Sometimes, he was exactly what the doctor ordered to get the team out of a late-inning jam. Other times—well, it wasn’t pretty. Regardless of whether Báez brought the goods or not, Dodger fans were accustomed to watching his outings through the cracks of their fingers.
However, when Dave Roberts takes a trip to the mound for a pitching change this season, there will be no Pedro Báez to call on.
Pedro Báez and the Astros have agreed on a two-year contract, per source. The deal is pending a physical. Báez, a converted third baseman, had a 3.03 ERA in seven seasons with the Dodgers.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) January 13, 2021
Yes, we see where he’s going—salt added to the proverbial wound.
Before saying “good riddance” to the 32-year-old right hander out of the Dominican Republic, it is important to note that his presence in the bullpen wasn’t all bad. In fact, he proved to be among the best in the ‘pen when it mattered most.
According to Baseball-Reference, Báez held opposing batters to a .197 BA or less when the Dodgers were within 2 runs from the lead. When entering after the seventh innings, opponents only hit .182 against him. When things started to unravel for Báez came in games the Dodgers were losing by four runs or more— where a comeback was far-fetched anyway—with opponents batting .214, giving up his most home runs in those situations to boot.
Unfortunately, these are the moments Dodger fans remember the most.
We’ll remember the nail-biting drama of a Pedro Báez outing. We’ll remember the league’s slowest pitch delivery (average 30 seconds between pitches in 2017). And we’ll be watching when the Dodgers (are scheduled to) face the Astros in a two-game series on May 25th and 26th. On top of all the reasons to watch a Dodgers-Astros match, at least Dodger fans can watch a Pedro Báez outing with intrigue instead of anxiety.