But there was some concern that his 10 fastballs in the outing averaged 94.2 mph. On the season, which consists of only nine appearances to date, Baez is averaging 94.4 mph, per Baseball Savant. That’s after averaging 95.8 and 96.1 mph the last two seasons, and 97+ in each of his three full seasons before that.
Baez reported to summer camp on July 13 after missing the first 10 workouts at Dodger Stadium for reasons the team couldn’t disclose. Dave Roberts said he thinks the slower ramp up to the season played a part in Baez’s literal slow start, but also figured the velocity would be higher at this point.
“You would expect after making the seven outings that you kind of see an uptick. That’s not the case,” Roberts said Saturday. “It’s not that we’re concerned about it, but it’s something that we’re just digging into.”
Baez has still been effective despite the velocity dip, thanks in part to an effective changeup against which batters are 2-for-15 (.133) with four strikeouts this season. Baez has a 2.89 ERA — his ERA has been remarkably consistent in the last five years, all falling between 2.88 and 3.10 — but with only seven strikeouts in 9⅓ innings Baez’s 18.4-percent strikeout rate is the lowest of his career.
Again, it’s only nine games, but the velocity and the strikeout rate will be something to keep an eye on going forward, especially if there’s no improvement.
Links & notes
- Kershaw’s Challenge had their annual back-to-school drive on Saturday, giving out backpacks, food, face masks, school supplies, and more to families at Dodger Stadium. Ken Gurnick at MLB.com has more.
- Sean Gibson at The Undefeated made the case for the MVP award to be named after his great grandfather, Josh Gibson.
- With the Reds’ series against the Pirates this weekend postponed after a positive COVID-19 test on Cincinnati, Sunday will mark the 21st consecutive day at least one MLB game was postponed due to the coronavirus. The last day with all 30 MLB teams playing was July 26.