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When the Phillies signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract, I thought that this was a decent deal. He had a few good years; a few not-so-good. He'd be taking over Chan Ho Park's role, how bad could it be? About a year later, I'm regretting those thoughts.
Before the season started, Baez was believed to be a reliable late-inning reliever. Especially with certain injuries to the bullpen, Baez was visioned as a seventh or eighth inning guy.
Baez struggled from the get-go. Unfortunately, Charlie Manuel kept him in the same role. Appearing in 51 games, Baez received many chances but he still failed to reach any sort of expectation. It wasn't until later in the season when Manuel decided that Baez pitched his way out of his job.
Every time Baez entered the game, I joked that the Phillies should just hand the opponents five runs. Sadly, that's basically what happened; Baez had an earned run average of 5.48 in 47.2 innings. The poor statistics do not end there. He averaged 1.64 walks and hits per innings pitched. He also allowed 10.4 hits and 4.3 walks per nine innings.
The only time Baez did not hurt the team was when he was sent to the disabled list with back-spasms in August. Even when he returned, he continued to struggle. Due to his unsatisfactory performance, Baez was left off the playoff roster.
It's tough to talk positively about the 2010 performance of Danys Baez. However, there were a few games in which he did get the job done, and he deserves credit for that. Also, I'd rather have Baez's contract rather than Brandon Lyons or Fernando Rodney's, who were other options last off season.
The Phillies hope that Baez will rebound next season. Don't expect him to strike a ton of people out, but he's a ground ball pitcher who has had some success in the past, being an All Star in 2005. He has one year left on his contract, so he'll get another chance. But if he continues to fail, those Philadelphia boos are not disappearing.