Pedro Baez, Carlos Frias may be pitching their way into postseason

Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 26.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Not to be presumptuous but … ah, forget it, let’s be insanely presumptuous and say the Dodgers survive the month and advance into the postseason.

Should that happen, their bullpen could look rather different than what we’ve watched most of the season.

The emergence and continued usage of young pitchers Pedro Baez and Carlos Frias in key stretch-run situations figures to have them headed for the postseason roster.


“Well, it could,” Mattingly said. “I don’t ever know what happens from here to there. And they’ve been pitching good. I think they’ve been throwing the ball well, both of those kids.”

On Sunday, Frias followed Zack Greinke in a game the Dodgers were leading 3-2 and threw two perfect innings. Baez retired all four batters he faced in a game the Dodgers won 2-1 on Friday.

These are stretch-run games, and Mattingly is going to the kids in late innings, the innings the bullpen has been so inconsistent in this season.

So if you figure Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell, Brandon League and Jamey Wright are postseason bullpen locks, the two kids make it, and the Dodgers carry seven relievers as they did last year, then some noteworthy names will be watching.

Roberto Hernandez could go from being the fifth starter to long man or off the roster. Chris Perez and Kevin Correia don’t figure to make the cut. And the Dodgers are still holding out hope Paco Rodriguez (shoulder strain) can return in time for the postseason, which would mean another reliever would not make it.

There are 19 games to play, so much could still happen. But at the moment, Mattingly is using both kids in September with games on the line and they are responding.


Baez has a 1.56 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP in 13 games. Frias has a 3.63 ERA and 0.85 ERA in 10 games and has not allowed a run in his last three appearances.

It’s still a small sample size, but both right-handed Dominicans throw hard and their confidence is growing with each appearance. Frias has also started one game and threw six scoreless innings.

“We said he may be a guy who helps us in the middle innings,” Mattingly said. “A guy with power stuff and movement, and we’ve been kind of searching to clean those innings up.”