The Dodgers’ bullpen took a hit on Tuesday when Pedro Baez limped off the field. If he misses time, the next man up is Yimi Garcia.
The Dodgers’ bridge to Kenley Jansen has been a wild ride this season. Joe Kelly was supposed to be the primary setup reliever but he has struggled to replicate his 2018 postseason form. As he struggles, Dylan Floro and Pedro Baez have become the team’s primary right-handed setup men. On Tuesday the team lost one of their setup relievers as Pedro Baez was hit on the knee by a line drive.
X-rays were negative on Baez but it would not be surprising if the Dodgers placed him on the injured list to be safe. He will likely miss a few games at least which means Yimi Garcia takes on an elevated role in the Dodger bullpen. Outside of his last outing in Cincinnati where the pitching conditions were less than ideal, Yimi has been very good.
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Prior to that outing on Sunday, Yimi Garcia had a streak of 11 2/3 scoreless innings. One reason for that is Yimi’s ability to get left and right-handed batters out. This season, left-handed hitters have hit .154 against Garcia where right-handed batters have hit an even .200. He is also allowing just five hits per nine innings pitched, but walks have been an issue. Yimi is averaging 3.2 walks per nine innings pitched.
With Tony Cingrani out of options and due back soon, Pedro Baez’s injury may have boughten another chance for Yimi. He is out of options and cannot be sent to the minors without going through waivers. With Baez out, the Dodgers will need to lean on Yimi Garcia when Dylan Floro is unavailable. Floro pitched 1 1/3 innings on Tuesday so that means Yimi may have to set Kenley up today.
The Dodgers should have more on Pedro Baez as Wednesday’s game draws closer but with an off day on Thursday, they will likely avoid Pedro and get him two consecutive off days. The Dodger bullpen will need someone to step up with Floro and Baez possibly down today and Yimi Garcia the perfect candidate. He has always had the stuff, it’s just been a matter of health and consistency.