Dodgers demote Pedro Baez to Triple-A to clear spot for Caleb Ferguson

first_imgPITTSBURGH — A vocal portion of the Dodgers’ fan base finally got its wish Wednesday.The Dodgers optioned reliever Pedro Baez to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Unpopular out of proportion to his actual performance, Baez was moved to clear a roster spot for left-hander Caleb Ferguson who was needed to start Wednesday’s game.The door to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ office was closed for a long time before the Dodgers took the field for their pregame workout Wednesday and Roberts was obviously bothered by having to give the news to Baez, who has made more appearances out of the Dodgers’ bullpen the past four seasons than any other pitcher (219, three more than Kenley Jansen).“Yeah, it was. Because I believe in the player,” Roberts said when asked if it was difficult to give Baez the news. “He’s done everything I’ve asked of him. It’s something we have to do which is best for our ballclub.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“I’ve leaned on him a lot, counted on him. He’s done a lot of good things for us,” Roberts said. “Pedro has done everything I’ve asked of him. He’s prepared. He’s worked hard. It’s not an easy decision for us, for him.”Baez was “very upset” by the demotion, Roberts said, but “he took it like a pro.”Roberts pointed to Baez’s inflated walk rate, poor performance against left-handed hitters (11 of those 16 walks and an .868 OPS) and “strike efficiency” as performance issues that Baez needs to work on in Triple-A.“Pedro will be back and he will help us win baseball games,” Roberts said.“Like I said, I believe in him, the organization believes in him and he’s going to help us going forward this year.”ALSOIn order to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for Ferguson, the Dodgers placed left-hander P.J. Conlon on waivers and he was claimed by the New York Mets. The Dodgers claimed Conlon off waivers from the Mets just four days ago. He did not pitch for the OKC Dodgers.UP NEXTDodgers (RHP Dennis Santana, 1-0, 12.27 ERA) at Pirates (RHP Jameson Taillon, 3-4, 3.97 ERA), Thursday, 9:35 a.m., SportsNet LA (where available), MLB Network (out of market only)Related Articles Only temporarily.Tony Cingrani left Wednesday night’s game after facing only one batter when he felt “a sharp pain behind his shoulder,” according to Roberts. If Cingrani goes to the DL (as seems likely), Baez will be back on the active roster without every leaving Pittsburgh.With Ferguson and Dennis Santana making their first major-league starts in consecutive games, the Dodgers chose to keep other relievers who could give them multiple innings if needed – notably, Brock Stewart, Daniel Hudson and Erik Goeddel.Baez is second on the team in relief appearances and relief innings this season with a 3.25 ERA. Bloated by 16 walks in 27-2/3 innings, though, Baez’s WHIP (1.59) was the highest on the team – and led to the kind of perilous outings that got him booed at times as he entered games at Dodger Stadium.Roberts has defended Baez against fan criticism, pointing out that he often gave Baez the most difficult assignments, asking him to face the toughest hitters in an opposing lineup. Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day last_img

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