Astros Designate Disappointing Right-Hander For Assignment

With a fastball that's down about 8 mph from its peak, nine-year major league veteran right-hander Pedro Baez has failed to stick with the Houston Astros for the second straight season. The team has designated him for assignment, and recalled right-hander Seth Martinez from Triple-A in his stead. 

The Astros signed Baez to a 2-year, $12M deal before the 2021 season, following a solid 7-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers that included a 3.08 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, 100 holds and 9.3K/9. He was a valued high-leverage piece out of the bullpen for LA. But a shoulder injury derailed his '21 season with the Astros, limiting him to just 4.1 innings. 

His 2022 has gotten off to a rocky start, as he's allowed 5 hits and 6 runs (3 earned) in just 2.1 innings. The shoulder problems have obviously sapped Baez' fastball velocity, which sat around 98 during his peak years in LA, but was registering barely 90 mph this season. 

The 27-year-old Martinez had a solid year at AAA last season, posting a 2.81 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in relief, while striking out an impressive 12.2 per 9 innings.

Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports