Dodgers keep Baez on playoff roster; D-backs make 2 changes

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(Source: 3TV/ CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/ CBS 5)

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Relievers Pedro Baez and Ross Stripling are on the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for their NL Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Outfielder Joc Pederson and utility player Tim Locastro didn't make the lineup announced by Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts on Friday before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Arizona made two changes to its roster from the wild-card game against Colorado, adding Game 1 starter Taijuan Walker and Pacific Coast League MVP Christian Walker while dropping outfielder Rey Fuentes and catcher Chris Herrmann.

Baez made a team-leading 66 relief appearances this season, but was a target of derision for Dodgers fans while posting a 2.95 ERA. After two dismal appearances in early September, he didn't allow a run while striking out seven over four scoreless appearances to end the regular season.

Roberts has been a firm supporter of Baez, who has pitched for the Dodgers since 2014. The 29-year-old Dominican right-hander has a career 6.52 ERA in 11 postseason appearances.

"I'm definitely confident that he has worked out his issues," Roberts said this week.

Stripling was busy all year for the Dodgers, working 74 1-3 innings in a season that included two starts. But he also hits the postseason with questions after posting a 6.08 ERA in his final 13 appearances.

The Dodgers kept 12 pitchers, including eight relievers, at the expense of the speedy Locastro, who could have been a pinch-running specialist. Los Angeles also kept Kyle Farmer as a third catcher behind Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes.

Pederson, the Dodgers' slugging outfielder, also was left off the roster after batting .071 with no homers after July. Roberts instead went with Farmer, who played in only 20 games for Los Angeles this season.

Taijuan Walker will make his postseason debut in Game 1 for Arizona against Clayton Kershaw, stepping up after Arizona was forced to use presumptive Game 1 starter Robbie Ray in relief against Colorado.

Christian Walker batted .309 with 32 homers for Triple-A Reno, but he has only 39 career at-bats in the big leagues. He will provide a right-handed power threat off the Diamondbacks' bench.

Infielder Chris Owings also was left off Arizona's roster. He broke his right middle finger in July, but is close to returning.


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