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.