Outfielder Terrance Gore and infielders Kody Hoese and Devin Mann have all been added to the Dodgers’ 60-man player pool, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports (Twitter link). In other roster news, right-hander Pedro Baez was already in the player pool but has now been activated from the 10-day injured list.
There is some mystery to the Baez news, as Gurnick notes that the team hadn’t previously announced that Baez was on the IL, or why he had been absent from Summer Camp. The lack of information inevitably leads to COVID-19 speculation (whether Baez tested positive for the virus or perhaps was just held up by a delay in getting test results back), though we won’t know for certain unless Baez agrees for such information to be made public.
Whatever the case, the Dodgers bullpen will be bolstered by the return of a pitcher who become a key part of the relief corps. The 32-year-old has a 3.03 ERA, 3.15 K/BB rate, and 9.5 K/9 over 339 career relief innings for Los Angeles, and delivered just a touch below those career norms over 69 2/3 frames in 2019. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told Gurnick and other media that Baez is expected to be ready for Opening Day, and will throw a simulated game against teammates at some point this week.
Of the new players joining the player pool, Gore is the best-known name, as the outfielder has appeared in 100 Major League games over the last six seasons. The majority of that experience has come as a pinch-running specialist, as Gore has only 77 plate appearances (and a career .608 OPS) to his resume, though he has stolen 40 bases from 49 attempts. That total jumps to 45-for-55 if you count postseason games, and Gore was a valuable bench piece for the Royals in their back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2014 and 2015.
Hoese was selected 25th overall in the 2019 draft, and the Tulane product has a .299/.380/.483 slash line over 171 plate appearances as a pro. Since Hoese has yet to play above the A-ball level, his inclusion in the player pool is likely more about getting him some high-level reps in training camp than it will be about potentially making his MLB debut in short order. The same could be true of Mann, a fifth-round pick in 2018 who has also yet to advance beyond high-A. Hoese and Mann rank seventh and 22nd, respectively, on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top 30 Dodgers prospects.
Baez might just be baseball’s most underrated RP
Yeah many Dodger fans swear he stinks. Crazy thing is he has been their best reliever the past 2 seasons.
As a dodgers fan I am here to tell you that, at times, he does stink but there are also a pretty equal number of times that he’s actually really good. He’s a very hot and cold type of pitcher. He’s either basically unhittable or extremely mortal with really no in between.
No, he has mostly been excellent over the last two seasons. As a Dodger fan, I have adopted Baez as one of my favorite players due to the rude treatment he has endured from so-called fans. Granted, a large portion of our fan base is not savvy when it comes to baseball. These same people want Friedman and Roberts fired. Embarrassing.
The Human Rain Delay
Lets be honest here-
Pedro Baez is not a 8 th inn guy for a team as potent as Lad-
It has been the Dodgers FO fault to rely on him for so long to be that guy, he just isnt when the lights get bright-
And before anyone goes spouting regular season Eras, Im talking about the playoffs and facing the best of the best….Hell every year it seems the Angels put out 4-5 Rp guys with sub 3.2 eras in the regular season
Pedro Baez is really good. Hes just not a difference maker and inspires little confidence in a tight playoff game. We need to do better for that role considering where we are in our arc.. I hope people dont mistake this post as being anti Baez
Baez is great when we are winning/losing by 4 runs, but when the game is tied or we are up by a run, he finds a way to blow it, at least it seems that way whenever I’m watching or listening to games.
I can swear that he’s been inconsistent and has relied too heavily on his fastball which as hard as he throws it is still a pitch major leaguers can crush if they know it’s coming. He’s been more consistent since he has improved his breaking pitches and is throwing them more often. I can also swear that for years his pace was painfully slow, especially with runners on, which made him frustrating to watch even when he was getting the job done. The Dodgers even sent him down to the minors for awhile to work on that.
That’s why I hate fans a lots of times , he is so important in that team , in the meantime the dodgers show more love to Chico in their Instagram page !
It’s tricky as on paper his numbers are good, but he seems to blow it in high leverage situations. You want to support your players thru thick and thin but he just doesn’t fill you with confidence coming to plate sometimes.
Still as a fan I really want so bad for him to do well.
He has been excellent in high-leverage situations these last two years. A problem is that reliever hiccups are magnified due to the game situation. If Kershaw or Buehler gives up a home run it is no big deal because they can keep pitching and atone for it. If Baez or Jansen gives up a homer it might cost the Dodgers the game or lead.
They literally have 40+ players ready to play at the MLB level
They could probably put together two playoff caliber teams.
Gore is one of the most obvious choices to be an extra inning pinch runner. The Dodgers aren’t a very fast team so he should be on the 30 man roster.
That’s probably the only reason he’s there
The Dodgers have some players who can run really well, especially Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor. But Bellinger will never be the extra innings runner and Taylor is also apt to be playing regularly as the Dodgers make their usual in-game substitutions. Therefore, Gore is needed as that speciailzed “pinch runner,” so to speak. Back in the 1970s, the A’s employed Herb Washington, and his baseball card even listed his position as “PR” (Pinch Runner). In recent seasons, the Dodgers had Tim LoCastro on their team, but I believe he is now a Diamondback; so yes, Gore is needed for 2020.
LoCastro is turning into Ron Hunt with speed. In 2019 he had 22 HBPs in just 250 plate appearances.
I’m not buying that at all. If you can’t score from 2nd then there are issues. There are very few guys you’re going to be willing to pinch run for. To be honest the most likely candidate for a PR candidate situation would be Cs. Holding a 3rd C that can actually hit & rarely strikes out would be a more use, much the same as a pinch hitter that can hit. Those would be significantly more valuable. You’re no going to pinch run for Betts, Muncy, Turner, Bellinger, Seager, Lux so a Pinch Runner would seem to hold very little value for a team set up like this. The roster is set especially as it starts to trim down total numbers.
For Turner you might. Also if you start the inning with a runner on 2B and nobody out he can be scored pretty readily without a base hit. I think we’re going to see a lot of bunts and sac flies. I already hate this rule.
There are very few instances you’re going to chance potentially taking the bat out of the lineup especially with the lack of actual 3B compliments. So much so there’s only one realistic situation, being home team with an opportunity to win a game. The extra innings thing is going to get boring really quickly, if we’re being honest. But I digress, 30 man sure for two weeks, but as the roster get normalish the novelty sort of brings less and less value for a team set up like the Dodgers.
The caveat sort of remains, a huge must win ball game changes the complexion.
Yes the home team advantage is what I was thinking about in making that comment. I’d expect a lot of games to be won or lost on a tag-up.
How many in the current Dodgers 60 man pool.
Navigating the 60 man pool is the fun part of this season.
The Pedro Baez thing was completely transactional and on paper. He was placed on the IL on 7/15/2018 and instead of activating him on 7/25/2018, the transactions page placed him on the IL a second time (impossible). It was not until this season that the transactions team that manages that page realized their error and activated him “on paper”. He’s literally been on this fake injury list for over two years.