The Padres placed Baez (elbow) on the 60-day injured list Thursday. Baez will be sidelined for the entire 2021 season and likely a portion of the 2022 campaign after he was diagnosed earlier this week with a torn UCL that will require Tommy John surgery. His move to the 60-day IL will afford the Padres some additional flexibility with their 40-man roster.
Baez has been diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament and will require Tommy John surgery, freelance writer Francys Romero reports. Baez had recently been sidelined with arm fatigue and made only three appearances this spring, allowing four runs (three earned) and posting a 5:4 K:BB over 3.1 innings. He'll miss the entirety of the 2021 campaign and is likely to be out for part of 2022 as well.
Baez pitched one-third of an inning against Oakland in a Cactus League contest Thursday, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits and one walk while striking out one. It was his first spring appearance since March 2. According to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Baez has been sidelined while refining his mechanics and dealing with arm fatigue. The right-hander was tagged for a solo home run in his brief appearance Thursday and has made only two appearance this spring. He is likely to open the campaign in the minors.
Baez will be stretched out in spring with the aim of developing as a multi-inning reliever, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Baez has experience starting in the minors, but his two-pitch arsenal and a crowded Padres rotation make a multi-inning relief role the most logical path to big-league innings. The 25-year-old has logged 34.1 frames in the majors over the past two seasons, but he appears to have a tough route to cracking the Opening Day roster given San Diego's bullpen depth.
Baez was optioned to the alternate training site by the Padres on Sunday. The 24-year-old gave up one run on four hits over 2.1 innings while serving as the opener Saturday against the Rockies, but he'll return to the alternate site to make room on the active roster for trade-acquisition Trevor Rosenthal. Baez has allowed four runs on seven hits with a 7:2 K:BB through 4.2 innings this season.
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