2/21 Baez power
The Cubs need a few more signs at their new Spring Training facility to warn fans of Javier Baez’s power. Baez apparently broke a car window with one of his batting practice home runs on Friday.
“I saw it fly and I heard a sound,” said infielder Logan Watkins, who was in the outfield during batting practice.
What did he hear?
“Glass,” Watkins said.
“Somebody told me, but I didn’t know that,” Baez said about the freak accident. “It [stinks] for the person who parked there.”
This is the Cubs’ first spring at the new facility in west Mesa, and there are a few glitches.
“They’re parking too close to the field,” Baez said.
It’s not just Baez either. Jorge Soler launched a ball out of Field 5 as well. Maybe they need more screens? Or park further away?
“[At least] not until Group 1 is done hitting,” Watkins said. “Mike Olt hit a couple far out there, too.”
Home runs are not unusual for Baez, 21, who belted 37 combined at Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last season. This is Baez’s second year in the big league spring camp and he said it’s a little easier.
“I’m trying to follow all the big guys,” the shortstop said.
Starlin Castro has been encouraging Baez, who is challenging for Castro’s job.
“[Castro] tells me all the time, ‘You’re going to get there whenever they think I’m ready,’” Baez said. “We’re just waiting now.”
Third baseman Christian Villanueva, who also was in the outfield during the batting practice session, gave Baez an animated description of what happened in Spanish.
“It was impressive,” Villanueva said. “I think he hit two cars. Some family was getting into the car and they heard the noise. They’re like, ‘Who’s hitting?’”
Baez didn’t know what happened.
“He doesn’t even care,” Watkins said. “He’s like, ‘Oh, cool.’ It’s not cool for whoever’s car it was.
“That’s a fun group to watch hit,” Watkins said. “They were making that field look real small. I get in trouble if I try to do that because that’s not really my game. Last round, I try to put one over [the fence] at least. He can do it every round if he wants. I don’t think anyone’s going to say that’s not your game because it obviously is.”
– Carrie Muskat