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2016 Dodgers review: Pedro Baez

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Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

You can probably read this entire article in between two Pedro Baez pitches.

What went right

Baez put up a 3.04 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in 73 games, one of 22 major league pitchers with a 1.000 or less WHIP in relief in 2016 (min. 50 innings), the same WHIP is Indians closer Cody Allen (Kenley Jansen led the majors with a 0.670 WHIP).

With 83 strikeouts and 22 walks in 74 innings, Baez was one of 32 major leaguers with at least 80 strikeouts in relief, including three Dodgers (with Jansen and Joe Blanton) for the first time ever in one season.

Baez held opposing batters to just .195/.259/.356, and was especially tough on left-handers, holding them to .160/.255/.298.

Baez did not allow a run in July, part of a 15-game scoreless streak that saw him allow only seven runners to reach base in 17⅓ innings, with 16 strikeouts.

He pitched in four of five games in the NLDS against the Nationals, allowing no runs and no hits in 3⅔ innings.

What went wrong

Baez allowed 11 home runs, four more long balls than he allowed in his first two seasons combined. Only two Dodgers pitchers allowed more home runs in 2016, and they were starters — Scott Kazmir (21) and Kenta Maeda (20).

One of the home runs Baez allowed was to pitcher Michael Lorenzen of the Reds on Aug. 19. It was one of only two home runs hit by relief pitchers in 2016.

With runners in scoring position against Baez, batters hit .264/.317/.509.

Baez also slows the game down .... to .... a ... glacial ... pace when he’s in the game, so much so that during the playoffs David Schoenfield of ESPN wrote a post entitled, “Nobody wants to see Pedro Baez pitch again this postseason,” in which Schoenfield noted that Baez averaged 30.2 seconds between pitches during the regular season, the slowest working pitcher in baseball, with an average of 22.7 seconds league-wide.

In the NLCS, Baez allowed six runs in 3⅓ innings in his three games.

2016 particulars

Age: 28

Stats: 3.04 ERA, 3.81 FIP iin 73 games, 83 K, 22 BB in 74 IP, 0.9 rWAR, 0.5 fWAR

Salary: $520,000

Game of the year

Baez had his longest outing of the season on July 8 against the Padres, throwing 2⅔ scoreless innings. He entered in relief with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning, and got out of the jam with a one-pitch double play, then tacked on a pair of scoreless frames, and earned the win. He struck out two on the night.

Roster status

Baez has two years, 59 days of service time, and two option years remaining.