Monday, May 05, 2014

Welcome to the Blue, Pedro Baez!

As you know, the Dodgers have been doing some juggling with the roster lately.  They've especially been moving pitchers in and out at a furious pace.  In the past few weeks we've seen Jose Dominguez, Red Patterson, and now Stephen Fife called up and then sent back down a few days later.

In place of Fife, who was a spot starter for Sunday's game, will be recently converted reliever Pedro Baez.  Per a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled right-handed pitcher Pedro Baez from Double-A Chattanooga and optioned right-handed pitcher Stephen Fife to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Baez, who will be making his first appearance on the Dodgers’ active roster, has appeared in 11 games for Chattanooga this season, posting a 1-0 record with five saves and a 2.84 ERA (4 ER/12.2 IP). The hard-throwing right-hander last pitched on Friday vs. Tennessee and fired 2.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. The 26-year-old appeared in his first Major League camp this spring after he was added to the 40-man roster on Nov. 20, 2013 and pitched in two games for the club, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings. Baez, who converted to a pitcher after spending his first six professional seasons as an infielder, is from Bani, Dominican Republic, which is the same hometown as Dodger infielder Juan Uribe.

Fife was recalled from Albuquerque Sunday to make a spot start at Miami and took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in 6.0+ innings in the Dodgers’ 4-3 defeat.
As you may know, Baez was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $200,000 by the Dodgers in 2007 as a third baseman with lots of potential.  At the time, he was compared to Adrian Beltre.  Unfortunately, that prediction came to pass.  After 6 years of struggling with the bat, the Dodgers decided to leverage his strong right arm and convert him into a pitcher.  This change occurred after the 2012 season, and so far it has paid dividends. 

For the first time in his career, Pedro Baez will find himself wearing Dodger Blue at a real Major League game.  He'll sit in the bullpen, and certainly reflect on his journey.

Hopefully, he'll have an opportunity to showcase how far he has come.  BTW, he will be wearing #52 (per Eric Stephen on twitter).  Also, Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider shares a Dodger prospect video on Baez here.

UPDATE:  I should add that we shouldn't expect Baez to stay with the Dodgers for long.  Any day now, Clayton Kershaw will be coming back from the DL, so I would expect him to take Baez's spot when he is ready.  This may occur as soon as tomorrow.

In celebration of Baez officially becoming a Dodger for the first time today today, I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014 from Spring Training and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are Pedro Baez's minor league career pitching stats, via Baseball Reference:

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