The Padres announced that right-hander Michel Báez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A El Paso. He had been designated for assignment last week.
Báez, 27, was once a highly-touted prospect, with Baseball America considering him the #28 prospect in the league in 2018. He hasn’t been able to pitch a ton since then, due to various reasons. He split 2019 and 2020 between the majors and minors, though there were no minor leagues in the latter season due to the pandemic. He then required Tommy John surgery in March of 2021. He was able to return to the mound last year, making two appearances in the majors and 41 in the minors. He posted a 4.91 ERA in that time on the farm, striking out 27.4% of batters but walking 11.1%.
The righty lost his roster spot on Opening Day when the club added Domingo Tapia and Rougned Odor. Based on Báez’s former prospect status and remaining option year, it wouldn’t have been a total shock to see another club claim him off waivers. But he ultimately cleared and will stick in the system as depth for the Padres. Since this is his first career outright and he has less than three years of MLB service time, he doesn’t have the right to elect free agency. He’ll head to El Paso and try to work his way back onto the roster.
how did he make it through waivers? I realize that injuries have taken the shine off but he was so hyped and his stuff was so good. anyone know what kind of velocity he’s working with at this point? is it diminished, I wonder
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
Because he hasn’t been a hyped prospect since like 2019.
Hired Gun 23
I thought he’d get claimed but glad he didn’t. Hopefully, he can get healthy in El Paso and contribute down the line…
Good for the Padres to keep him in the organization that will be some great depth if he can come back from his injuries
Hopefully he doesn’t duck in to Rosa’s Cantina while he’s there. Not a healthy outcome.
I can’t believe he didn’t get claimed. Had some bad luck with injuries, but he still has all the makings of a solid bullpen piece at worst.
only 27 years old, 6′ 8″ flamer with an arsenal of pitches, good control. Looked good at ML level before going down to TJS in 21-22. Not sure why he made it through waivers but wouldn’t be surprised to see him called up to help a now fairly thin Padres bullpen.
How did he not get claimed.
That’s baseball, and prospects.. It really sucks that such talented young players can’t make it at the major league levels, and for all kinds of reasons including health. Ya have to feel for Baez, to come so far, and then fall off a cliff to the point where no other MLB team wants him (i.e. presumably, for a minimum fee, but I can’t recall the waivers specifics). I hope he can come back strong. Castillo is in a similar boat. Undeniable, proven talent, but injury after injury has kept him off the field to the point where his value is diminished to just a “wild card” in anyone’s organization.
Ya just want to pull for these kinds of prospects, but in the end, “prospects are all suspects” until they’re put a couple of successful years in at the MLB level. Just a brutal sport, from that perspective.
How was his stuff looking in Spring Training? He used to be a hard throwing pitcher, but after so many injuries, I was curious as to what he was throwing now. Any Padres fans can give me some insight?
He velo was down slightly from pre-TJS, but not too much. From what I hear his control wasn’t where it should be during ST, and that’s something he’ll work on in minors. Over the course of his minors career he’s shown good control for a power pitcher. Shocking no other team picked him up.
He’s much closer to Cuba now so if he wanted to visit his family for a weekend, it’s only a $500 flight.
“My, my, my, my Michel… lookout!” – Axl Rose
The Giraffe. Seems like yesterday he was can’t miss.
Old timer 78
Hard thrower, Very Tall, not very athletic. Being so Tall very hard to repeat throwing motion. Remember how long it took RANDY Johnson to gain his control. Think about how many pitchers make it with that height.