Baez shut down as thumb injury lingers

March 5th, 2017
Pedro Baez's availability for Opening Day is likely in jeopardy. (Getty Images)

PHOENIX -- Dodgers reliever 's right hand injury is worse than originally believed, and he has again been shut down from throwing, with further tests scheduled.

Baez, who has yet to appear in a game this spring, was injured Feb. 23 while pitching live batting practice when a comebacker struck the base of his right thumb. He took a few days off and resumed playing catch, but the discomfort has lingered and the Dodgers were concerned enough to shut him down and order further medical testing.

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Manager Dave Roberts said he isn't ruling out Baez for the Opening Day bullpen.

"Pedro, as a reliever, there's still time to build him up," Roberts said. "But if he has any discomfort or pain, it makes no sense for us to push him."

Baez has never been able to lock down the bullpen setup role, but the right-hander has been a solid contributor over the past three seasons. He pitched 74 innings last year in 73 appearances with a 3.04 ERA. He is expected to be a key member of the bullpen again this season.

Worth noting

In another pitching update, Roberts said could make his first Cactus League appearance in the next few days. The lefty has been brought along slowly as he returns from two years of shoulder and elbow injuries.

Roberts also said first baseman , who has not played a game because of right elbow tendinitis, will be the designated hitter on Monday and might play first base on Tuesday before joining Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic.