Relief Pitcher Pedro Baez
With the rebound of Edwin Diaz this season the Mets seemed to be locked in at the closer position heading into 2021. There is still the question of who the Mets will use in the late innings of games however next season, as we don’t know whether Seth Lugo will be a starter or a reliever, Jeurys Familia has been wildly inconsistent, and it’s very tough to see the Mets wanting to go another round with Dellin Betances. The jury is also still out on Miguel Castro filling a late-inning role.
This is where reliever Pedro Baez fits into the Mets plans in 2021. The 32-year old reliever has long been regarded as one of the most consistent arms out of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen over the past seven seasons and with relievers performance varying from season to season, having an arm providing consistency in the bullpen late in games is undeniably valuable.
The right-handed Baez would take the ball every night if he could as he is nicknamed “LA Mula”, which is Spanish for the mule. Baez has a career 3.06 ERA with a sparkling 1.10 career WHIP while striking out 25% of the batters he has faced in his career. Baez gets his work done with a three-pitch repertoire that includes a four-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup, but he tends to lean more towards using his fastball and changeup than his slider.
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In high leverage situations throughout his entire career, Baez is holding batters to a ridiculous .182 batting average. Baez could provide more value to the Mets roster than many people realize, as he could take the ball most nights late in games and also can step in as the closer if Diaz is unavailable.