Dodgers: Pedro Baez is the Dodgers’ Best Relief Option Against Lefties
Pedro Baez is having another good season for the Dodgers. Against left-handed hitters, he has been the club’s best reliever.
Pedro Baez is once again in the headlines after two rough outings against the Boston Red Sox. It’s nothing new for the Dodgers’ enigmatic reliever who depending on the outing is one of the most beloved or hated relievers on the team. This season, Baez has been solid once again as he has been over the last few seasons.
One of the areas that Petey has grown significantly is his effectiveness against left-handed batters. Thanks to an improved changeup, Pedro has been elite against lefties and not allowed a single home run to a left-handed hitter. Zac Rosscup was designated for assignment yesterday and the Dodgers have just one lefty in their bullpen.
There is no doubt that Baez’s effectiveness against lefties factored into the club’s decision to have just one left-handed reliever in their bullpen. Yimi Garcia has also done well against lefties but nobody on the team has been as good as Baez in that category. There are three relievers that could be dealt in the next two weeks, and none of them have been as effective as Pedro Baez against left-handed hitters.
Here is Baez’s splits against lefties compared to Tony Watson, Will Smith, and Felipe Vazquez:
Pedro Baez: .156 AVG allowed, .188 OBP, .195 slugging%
Will Smith: .194 AVG allowed, .216 OBP, .333 slugging%
Tony Watson: .366 AVG allowed, .366 OBP, .512 slugging%
Felipe Vazquez: .267 AVG allowed, .353 OBP, .467 slugging%
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As the stats show, Pedro Baez has been more effective against left-handed hitters than three of the biggest name available on the trade market. Will Smith is still a big upgrade for the bullpen but Tony Watson has been knocked around by lefties this season. That should take him off of LA’s upgrade list.
Felipe Vazquez is another reliever/closer that could potentially be dealt at the deadline. While Vazquez is one of the best relievers in baseball, he too has had his struggles against left-handed batters this season. Given his track record, he should still be an option for the Dodgers if they don’t have to trade two of their top four prospects away.
That leaves Will Smith who would be a nice acquisition for the Dodgers’ pen. The problem is that the competition will be stiff for Smith and the Giants are going to ask for more from the Dodgers given that they’re in the same division. If the team can not acquire Smith they still have Baez to throw against lefties.
Pedro Baez continues to be one of the most scrutinized relievers on the Dodgers. During his hot streaks, he is loved but as soon as he hits a bump in the road, most jump on him and are quick to dismiss the great work he has done so far. Pedro has been elite against left-handed batters this season and if all else fails at the trade deadline, they can use Baez and Urias to eliminate lefties in the late innings.