4/8 The development of Javy Baez

The development of Javier Baez continued this past weekend, and Theo Epstein said the team’s top prospect got an important lesson, thanks to his teammates. Baez was hitless in his first nine at-bats at Triple-A Iowa, and ejected from Saturday’s game after arguing a checked swing third strike call. He reportedly exchanged words and had an altercation in the dugout with teammate Eli Whiteside.

“He had a nice conversation with a teammate and that was a good thing,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. “It’s a tremendously great learning experience.”

Baez ended his hitless streak in style Sunday with a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning.

“I think it was a great development and experience for him,” Epstein said. “He started out not feeling real comfortable at the plate and he let it frustrate him and he showed it on the field. His teammates, they know how good he can be and how good a teammate he can be and they called him out on it.

“He responded just the right way and took it to heart and came back the next day with a pinch-hit home run,” Epstein said. “He’s hit the ball hard in five straight plate appearances. He’s taking the responsibility of being a good teammate and taking it to heart. Experiences like that will just help him get where he needs to be.”

– Carrie Muskat

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