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Dodgers Notes: Dave Roberts says he trusts Pedro Baez to pitch in NLDS

By in Press Enterprise on October 7, 2017

By Bill Plunkett

LOS ANGELES — In the end, the Dodgers decided they would get more use out of a reliever they might be afraid to use than a baserunning specialist.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated the final decision before the team submitted its roster for the NL Division Series on Friday morning came down to “Baez versus Locastro.” The Dodgers went with an eighth reliever, right-hander Pedro Baez, over minor-league utilityman Tim Locastro.

After promoting him for the final series of the regular season, the Dodgers opted against including Locastro on the playoff roster just to pinch-run. Kyle Farmer was included as a third catcher, freeing up Austin Barnes or Yasmani Grandal to pinch hit.

“Ultimately, Pedro has been a big part of what we’ve done all year,” Roberts said. “I trust him.”

Baez made more appearances than any other Dodgers reliever this season – often to the displeasure of Dodgers fans who focused their ire on him as he struggled in the second half of the season. Baez finished with a 2.95 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 64 innings but allowed nine runs on nine hits and seven walks over his final 8 1/3 innings this season.

“I’m definitely confident that he’s worked out his issues,” Roberts said earlier this week. “It was, I don’t know, three weeks of tough sledding for Pedro. But I think his last four outings, I think he had four scoreless outings in a row and threw the ball well.

“If you look at the entire body of work and the last couple weeks or 10 days he’s thrown the baseball really well and had a great year.”

Nonetheless, Roberts acknowledged that he might not use Baez in the same kind of high-leverage role he filled during the season.

“I think that’s fair,” he said. “You have to look at the recency of the […]    

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