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Veteran reliever Baez optioned to Triple-A

LA calls up lefty Ferguson for spot start; Turner back in lineup
Special to MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Dodgers optioned veteran reliever Pedro Baez to Triple-A Oklahoma City to clear roster space for rookie left-hander Caleb Ferguson, who made his Major League debut in Wednesday's start against the Pirates.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts referenced the club's revamped rotation and need for starters in the wake of several injuries, along with giving Baez a more manageable workload (his 28 appearances are one behind Josh Fields'). But, Baez recently has not helped his cause.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Dodgers optioned veteran reliever Pedro Baez to Triple-A Oklahoma City to clear roster space for rookie left-hander Caleb Ferguson, who made his Major League debut in Wednesday's start against the Pirates.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts referenced the club's revamped rotation and need for starters in the wake of several injuries, along with giving Baez a more manageable workload (his 28 appearances are one behind Josh Fields'). But, Baez recently has not helped his cause.

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"With the left-handed hitter, [Baez] hasn't been as effective as he has in the past," Roberts said. "He's prepared, he's worked hard, so it's not an easy decision, for us, for him. But [he needs to] just to continue to work on executing pitches. And I'm confident he will."

Lefties have an .868 OPS against Baez this season.

A right-hander in his fifth season with the Dodgers, Baez is 2-3 with a 3.25 ERA. After a strong start, he has given up 22 hits, nine earned runs and walked 14 in his past 19 innings.

Baez, 30, took the news "like a pro," Roberts said, "but he was understandably very upset by it."

Roberts said the news was tough to break, too.

"I believe in the player, and he does everything I've asked of him," Roberts said. It's something we have to do that's best for the ballclub here, and for him to work on a couple of things down there.

"Pedro will be back and he will help us win baseball games. I believe in him, the organization believes in him and he's going to help us going forward this year."

Turner returns
Third baseman Justin Turner was back in the lineup and batting third after sitting out Tuesday's game to give his sore left wrist some treatment and rest. He was 0-for-2 with three walks and two runs in the Dodgers' 11-9 loss to Pittsburgh.

"I'm feeling better, but I haven't felt 100 percent yet," he said

Nor will he, at least for a while. Turner, who missed the first 1 1/2 months of the season after breaking the wrist during Spring Training, said he talked to Freddie Freeman, Ian Desmond and others who have dealt with similar injuries, and the message is the same: "It's just something that's gonna [stink] for a little bit," Turner said.

Turner, 33, was batting .250 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 18 games since his May 15 return. Going into the season, he hit .302 and averaged 18 homers since joining the Dodgers in 2014. He said the pain has not affected his swing, and he is "happy with the quality of my at-bats, but not the results."

"I don't think anybody is really satisfied," he said.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Pedro Baez, Justin Turner