Dodgers: Three Players Facing Make or Break Seasons in 2018
The Dodgers lost Brandon Morrow to the Chicago Cubs, and now they face missing links in the bridge to Kenley Jansen. One of the main relievers who are likely to get called upon to setup Jansen is Pedro Baez. Baez is coming off a miserable September when he had an ERA over ten and pitched his way off of the Dodger playoff roster. Even then, Baez has been a good reliever for years so the Dodgers will give him every shot for redemption in 2018.
Baez could once again establish himself as an elite eighth-inning setup man, but if he fails to regain his confidence, then he could get shipped out like Chris Hatcher did this year. Baez throws hard regularly but his confidence is spotty at best. He walks too many hitters, and that makes up for the fact that the opposition does not get many hits against Baez. Pedro also needs to work on his pace of play as he takes forever in between pitches and that can lull defenders to sleep.
Baez certainly has all the weapons he needs to succeed as a successful setup reliever. Baez throws up to 100 miles per hour and has a slider that occasionally shows promise. The main thing Baez needs to do is throw more strikes and don’t take three years in between pitches. If he can do that, then a return to form is almost guaranteed for Pedro Baez. However, if Baez once again struggles then he too could be done as a Dodger.