8/21/2014 9:35 P.M. ET
Converted pitcher Baez impressing in relief
By Michael Lananna / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- When Don Mattingly looks at right-hander Pedro Baez, the Dodgers' manager can see shades of closer Kenley Jansen.
Both are converted pitchers -- Baez from third base, Jansen from catcher. Both are primarily one-pitch relievers -- Baez with his fastball, Jansen with his cutter.
Mattingly said he still wants Baez to refine his secondary stuff, add something "softer that goes down," but the manager has been pleased by what he's seen out of the 26-year-old this month. In two August stints with the Dodgers, Baez has thrown seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and walking two.
"He looks like a guy who has a good chance to be a part of what we do. If not this year, then moving forward," Mattingly said. "Right now, he's growing up. He's getting better. We'll take it for what it is."
Mattingly said he was impressed with how Baez performed in recent series against the Angels and Brewers. Baez faced Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in Anaheim, then faced Brewers sluggers Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez, and came away unscathed.
"You hope that he gains confidence," Mattingly said. "The two times I used him, I gave him the total heart of the lineup. He did great.
"I think with a young player and a guy who just switched to pitching not too long ago, if they come up and have success, it's something that inside you says, 'I can do this.'"
Ryu progressing well; Hanley to return Sunday
LOS ANGELES -- Though Don Mattingly said Wednesday that the Dodgers wouldn't push left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu to throw off a mound, Ryu was throwing in the bullpen one day later.
Recovering from a right gluteus strain, Ryu did some light work in the 'pen on Thursday, putting him ahead of schedule.
"Yeah, a little bit," Mattingly said. "I don't think he did much, just a little bit throwing downhill. It wasn't like a bullpen. It sounds like that went pretty well. So we're happy with where he's at and feeling pretty good about what's going on with him."
Ryu went on the disabled list Aug. 15, two days after leaving a start in Atlanta early.
A couple of other Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez (right oblique) and Juan Uribe (right hamstring), took batting practice Thursday. Mattingly said he expects Ramirez to be able to come off of the disabled list Sunday, the first day he's eligible to do so. Uribe, who went on the disabled list Aug. 16, is still "a ways away" from returning, Mattingly said.
As for the bullpen, relievers Chris Perez (right ankle) and Paco Rodriguez (teres major strain) are both likely to return in September. Perez is scheduled to throw in another rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, and Rodriguez threw at around 70 percent Wednesday, Mattingly said.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.