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2017 Dodgers review: Pedro Baez

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After what fittingly seems like a long wait, our next 2017 Dodgers player review is ...

“BOOOOOOOO!!!”

Now, hold on just a minute. I’m trying to tell you that Ped....

“BOOOOOOOO!!!”

Okay, but I think you are jumping the gun a little bit here. Sure, 2017 wasn’t his best season by any means but even at his worst he didn’t really hurt the team commensurate with the amount of sh...

“BOOOOOOOO!!!!”

Look, I get it. Even when things are going well, Pedro Baez takes a loooooong time in between pitches. It can be excruciating to watch. The average game t...

“BOOOOOOOO!!!”

It’s hard to get a word in here. It seems like no matter what there is always someone in every bullpen who gets dumped on by the fans. Chris Hatcher was the whipping boy for a while but once he was traded in August that cleared the way for Pedr....

“BOOOOOOOO!!!!”

What went right

Baez had a 1.43 ERA prior to the All-Star break, with 38 strikeouts in his 37⅔ innings.

Baez in 32 games at Dodger Stadium had a 1.99 ERA, with opposing batters hitting .195/.269/.373.

In a strange twist, while several other things went sour for Baez in 2017, he was excellent at stranding inherited runners. Just two of his 20 inherited runners scored on his watch, after permitting 40% of said runners to score over the previous two seasons.

Opposing hitters were just 7-for-71 with two doubles with runners in scoring position against Baez, hitting just .099/.220/.127.

What went wrong

Despite seemingly effective numbers on the surface — a 2.95 ERA, 64 strikeouts in 64 innings — Baez had arguably his worst of his four seasons on the mound. He posted career worsts in FIP (4.44), xFIP (4.83) and SIERA (4.25). Baez saw his strikeout rate plummet from 28.4% in 2015-16 to 22.9% in 2017, and saw his walk rate spike to 10.4% from 6.6%.

Baez had a 1.79 ERA entering September, but things went south in a hurry. He gave up runs in five of his first seven appearances of the month, with 12 runs allowed and 13 outs recorded during that span. Things reached a boiling point on Sept. 19 in Philadelphia when Baez allowed four runs in a disastrous inning that essentially knocked him out of high leverage assignments for the remainder of the year.

The emotional low point was probably on Sept. 8, when home fans at Dodger Stadium showered Baez with a chorus of boos as he was entering the game, before he even threw a pitch. The timing of the jeers irked manager Dave Roberts.

“That’s something that really pissed me off tonight,” Roberts said. “This guy is grinding and trying to find his way through things, and has done a lot of good things for us, and pitched big innings. And these are our fans, and welcome him with boos, was ridiculous.

Baez made the Dodgers NLDS roster, though he did not pitch. He was left off the rosters for the NLCS and World Series.

2017 particulars

Age: 29

Stats: 2.95 ERA, 4.44 FIP in 66 games, 64 K, 29 BB in 64 IP

Salary: $550,000

Game of the year

Baez struck out five in two scoreless innings in Milwaukee on June 2, helping the Dodgers come back from a 2-1 deficit in a game they eventually won in extra innings.

Roster status

Baez is eligible for salary arbitration this winter, projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $1.5 million in 2018. Baez has three years, 59 days of major league service time and two option years remaining.