3/20 Baez on HR: “It feels good”

Anthony Giansanti is still in the Cubs’ organization after his collision Wednesday night with Javier Baez, and the outfielder knows he wouldn’t be very popular if he hurt the top prospect. The two crashed in shallow left chasing a fly ball in the Cubs’ game against the Rockies. Baez said they couldn’t hear each other calling for the ball. Baez lay on the ground for a few moments, feeling the impact in his left wrist and right knee, and couldn’t bend his wrist.

“At first, I couldn’t take my glove off for some reason,” Baez said.

Cubs fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Baez got up, and stayed in the game, although not until he and Rick Renteria had a conversation.

“He was just telling me if I wanted to throw a little bit and catch the ball because of my wrist, but I told him I was fine and he said, ‘I just want to make sure,'” Baez said. “I don’t like coming out of games, no matter what happens on the field. I don’t like coming out of games.”

Giansanti stayed in the game as well.

“He told me, ‘If you get hurt, everybody will hate me in Chicago,'” Baez said.

Baez had no problems in the eighth inning when he hit his fifth spring home run, which puts him in a tie for the Cactus League lead. The ball landed next to a cactus plant in the batter’s eye at Salt River Fields, and was estimated at 450 feet.

“My first year I played in the [Arizona] Fall League, I hit a ball that far, too,” Baez said.

He did confess that it was “the best ball I hit in Spring Training.” What does that feel like?

“It feels good — you don’t feel the ball hit the bat,” he said. “That’s when you know you hit it good.”

A lot of his friends saw the blast, and sent him text messages. Baez knows a lot of people want the Cubs to promote him to the big leagues now. He’s projected to start at Triple-A Iowa at shortstop. The media asks him about his future every day. So do his family and friends.

“They asked me pretty much every day and I don’t know what to answer,” he said. “I know I will figure it out and let them know as soon as I know.”

— Carrie Muskat

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