Results tagged ‘ Javier Baez ’

8/6 Extra bases

* Cubs manager Rick Renteria was asked what he expects of Javier Baez, who was starting at second on Wednesday in the second game of his Major League life.

“In terms of the results, what I expect is that he’ll go out there and grind out some at-bats,” Renteria said. “His skill set is bat speed and power, and that would indicate if he squares up a ball, he’ll have a chance to hit it out of the ballpark. My expectations of him is to be here to learn, to grind out at-bats, to experience the opposition’s ability to work him, for him to get a feel to play second base alongside Starlin [Castro] and [Anthony Rizzo] on that side, and to continue to learn the game. He’s a young man and he’s a baseball player. Once you get here, a lot of different things can happen. We want him to continue to be a sponge and keep learning and moving forward.”

The Cubs are keeping expectations in check regarding the talented infielder.

“It’s 60 feet, 6 inches in Triple-A, A ball, Double-A, rookie ball, and 60 feet, 60 inches in the big leagues,” Renteria said. “It’s just a matter of still keeping it simple and learns, just learn.”

* Arismendy Alcantara was not in the leadoff spot on Wednesday.

“We want to try to take away a little bit of the pressure,” Renteria said. “He still looks calm but the results haven’t been what he wants. Seeing how guys work ahead of him might give him a different perspective, a different view.”

* Kyuji Fujikawa will be eased into game situations. This is the last year of his two-year deal with the Cubs, who have an option for 2015. Fujikawa said he hasn’t thought about next year, and is focused on getting back on the mound now.

– Carrie Muskat

8/5 Baez goes boom

* Did you stay awake long enough to see Javy Baez’s first big league home run? Baez delivered in the 12th inning Tuesday to give the Cubs a 6-5 win over the Rockies. It was his first big league hit, home run and RBI. He connected off Boone Logan, who Baez had faced recently in a Minor League game when the Rockies pitcher was making a rehab outing. Then, Logan threw curveballs. On Tuesday, he threw a first-pitch fastball, and Baez hit it 414 feet to right center.

* This is the fourth time in MLB history that a player has hit a go-ahead or game-winning home run in extra innings in his Major League debut.

Billy Parker, Angels, 1971
Kent Hrbek, Twins, 1981
Miguel Cabrera, Marlins, 2003
Javier Baez, Cubs, 2014

* Baez is the youngest player in the National League at 21 years. (Rangers’ Odor is youngest)

* Baez is the 12th Cubs player since 1914 to homer in his debut and the only one of the 12 to deliver that home run in extra innings.

Was Baez nervous?

“Not really,” he said. “I took it like a Spring Training game with a lot of fans and a lot of people.”

Promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Monday, Baez was 0-for-5 before the blast and had struck out three times. But he connected in the 12th, for his 24th home run of the season after hitting 23 at Iowa.

“He had a few strikeouts, but it wasn’t for anxiousness,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He got the first pitch he could hit and drove it out of the ballpark.

“He’s got a very powerful swing, obviously,” Renteria said. “For the first game, I’m sure he got it under his belt now, and he’ll see that, ‘Hey, I can do this.'”

– Carrie Muskat

8/5 Expect some growing pains with Baez

Javier Baez now has 51 games in the big leagues to show what he can do, and the Cubs fully expect some growing pains. Baez was promoted on Tuesday, and made his first Major League start at second against the Rockies. Theo Epstein said they decided it was time because Baez had fulfilled several items on the check list.

“Javy has made a lot of strides in areas that we’ve emphasized for his development,” Epstein said. “He’s doing a much better job of making the pitcher work, swinging at strikes, looking for a pitch he can drive.”

Baez’s strikeout totals have decreased each month at Triple-A Iowa, and he’s developed a better approach at the plate. Baez has about 450 plate appearances at Iowa, which was enough of a sample size.

The infielder also has a history of struggling when he first gets to a level, and then making the necessary adjustments. He’ll be in the lineup nearly every day to get started on the next phase of his development.

“We all know it can be very difficult to make in-season adjustments as a big leaguer,” Epstein said, citing struggles by Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo last year. “This timing allows Javy to go play for eight weeks, and then take a deep breath this winter. He can take a fresh look at his performance in the big leagues and take it all in and start to make any adjustments if necessary.”

Baez got off to a slow start at Iowa, batting .172 in April. After work with Iowa hitting coach Brian Harper, and talking to other players plus player/coach Manny Ramirez, Baez hit .275 in June, and then got hot in July, batting .300. For the season, he was hitting .260 at Iowa with 24 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs and 80 RBIs in 104 games.

He took early batting practice at Coors Field, and felt right at home.

“I like how the ball flies here and everything you hit in the air is gone,” he said.

Starlin Castro is set at shortstop, but Baez has made the transition to second, playing there more since the All-Star break. The plan is to have him at second and rookie Arismendy Alcantara in center field for the majority of games.

“The first two games, it was weird,” Baez said. “I was seeing everything backwards. By the third game, I was kind of getting it. Now it’s like normal.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/5 Cubs lineup

Javier Baez is playing second base and batting second Tuesday night for the Cubs, making his Major League debut at Coors Field. He’ll be wearing No. 9. Here’s the lineup:

Alcantara CF
Baez 2B
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Ruggiano RF
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Lake LF
T. Wood P

8/4 Minor matters – Sunday’s games

Javier Baez hit two home runs but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 7-5, to Omaha, and fell out of first place. Dae-Eun Rhee gave up seven runs over five innings. After hitting 11 home runs in 72 games in April, May and June, Baez has 12 homers in 32 games in July and August. Josh Vitters had three hits.

Pierce Johnson threw six shutout innings in Tennessee’s 4-1 win over Pensacola. Johnson struck out six and walked one. He gave up two hits. Addison Russell backed him with a two-run homer in the eighth. Russell was batting .293. Lars Anderson drove in two runs.

Daytona’s game at Charlotte was suspended because of rain. The two teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Monday.

Cael Brockmeyer hit his fifth home run to help Kane County beat Quad Cities, 9-5. Dan Lockhart and Chesny Young each had three hits. Daury Torrez gave up three runs over six innings.

David Bote had two hits, including a solo home run in the third, in Boise’s 3-2 win over Vancouver. Rashad Crawford had two hits, and stole a base. Trevor Clifton got the win, throwing five shutout innings.

Mesa’s game against the Athletics was postponed because of rain.

8/4 Baez to Cubs

Javier Baez is headed to the show. The Cubs say Baez will join the big league team on Tuesday in Colorado for the start of their series against the Rockies. Baez, ranked No. 2 on’s list of top 20 Cubs prospects, is batting .260 overall with 23 home runs, 24 doubles, two triples and 80 RBIs in 104 games at Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs are hoping that’s the last he sees of the Minor Leagues.

The No. 1 pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Baez has been playing both second base and shortstop, and his arrival will likely move Arismendy Alcantara to the outfield.

Manager Rick Renteria has been asked often about Baez, 21, a right-handed hitter with a vicious swing, who hit a two-run homer for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game last month.

“He has the ability, he has the talent,” Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro said of Baez. “I think he can do the same — come here and keep playing, keep doing his job. I think it’ll be good for him.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/27 Minor matters

Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the first but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 5-4, to Memphis in the first game of a doubleheader. Dan Straily took the loss, giving up five runs over five innings. Jorge Soler went 2-for-3 in his third game, hitting a double. Kyuji Fujkikawa threw one inning in relief, giving up two hits and walking one. In the second game, Baez connected again, hitting a three-run homer in the first but again it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 6-4. Josh Vitters also homered. Baez leads Iowa with 19 home runs and 73 RBIs.

Addison Russell hit his sixth home run and third in the last two games in Tennessee’s 7-4 win over Birmingham in 10 innings. Russell led off the fourth with his blast. Taylor Davis drove in five runs, hitting his second home run. He also hit two doubles.

Daytona won the first game of a doubleheader against St. Lucie, 6-3. Felix Pena got the win. Jacob Hannemann had three hits in his first game with the team. In the second game, Hannemann had three hits again, and stole his second base of the day. Tayler Scott picked up the win in the 9-1 victory, throwing five shutout innings.

Shawon Dunston had two hits but it wasn’t enough as Kane County lost, 7-5, to West Michigan.

Dillon Maples gave up four runs, one earned, on three hits over three innings in Boise’s 7-6 win over Everett.

Mesa had the day off.

7/25 Minor matters

Javier Baez and Josh Vitters each homered to back Eric Jokisch and lead Iowa to an 11-2 win over New Orleans. Jokisch gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings and struck out five. Baez finished with three RBI. Mike Olt had two hits, including a bases-clearing double. It was the first game that Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler played in together, batting 3-4-5.

Pierce Johnson gave up two hits over six shutout innings in Tennessee’s 4-2 win over Mississippi. In his first game with the Smokies, Lars Anderson was 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.

Daytona and St. Lucie were postponed because of rain, and will try to play a doubleheader Friday.

Jacob Rogers hit his 11th home run to help Kane county beat South Bend, 5-3. Jen-Ho Tseng gave up three runs over 5 2/3 innings for the win. Shawon Dunston had two hits, a stolen base, and one RBI.

Danny Canela and Justin Marra each homered to help Boise beat Everett, 7-3. David Bote had two hits.

Mesa blew a 5-1 lead and lost 7-6 to the Athletics. Kevonte Mitchell had two hits, including a triple, and one RBI.

7/19 Minor matters – Friday’s games

Javier Baez and Kris Bryant each homered for the second straight game and Tsuyoshi Wada struck out 10 to lead Iowa to a 4-1 win over Round Rock. It’s the fourth time the two have homered in the same game this year. The 10 Ks match Wada’s season and career high. It’s the third time this year he has reached that mark. Wada leads the PCL with 120 strikeouts and is second with 113 2/3 innings pitched. He ranks fourth in ERA (2.77) and fifth with a 1.16 WHIP. He picked up his 10th win Friday and joins Kyle Hendricks with double-digit wins this year. It’s the first time the Cubs have had multiple 10-game winners since 2010 when Jeff Samardzija and Jay Jackson each won 11 and Casey Coleman won 10.

Baez went 2-for-5 with a home run Friday. He has hit safely in 12 straight games. Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the third, and now has 11 home runs in 26 games with Iowa. He leads all of Minor League baseball with 33 home runs.

Tennessee’s game vs. Huntsville was postponed because of rain. The teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader today.

Rock Shoulders hit a walk-off grand slam in the 17th inning to lift Daytona to an 11-7 win over Fort Myers. Daytona had rallied from a 7-1 deficit in the sixth to tie the game. Kyle Schwarber and Wilson Contreras both homered. It was Schwarber’s first since joining the D-Cubs. Albert Almora, Billy McKinney, Gioskar Amaya and Wes Darvill each had at least two hits.

Jen-Ho Tseng gave up one run over six scoreless innings to lead Kane County to a 10-1 win over Lansing. Jeimer Candelario and Cael Brockmeyer each homered. Brockmeyer finished with four RBIs. Shawon Dunston had three hits and two RBIs. Tseng was perfect through 14 batters and posted his fourth quality start.

Boise overcame a 7-1 deficit, scoring five runs in the sixth and four in the seventh, to beat Spokane, 10-7. Jason Vosler had two hits and two RBIs.

Mesa lost, 7-3, to the Brewers. Andrew Ely hit his second home run of the year.

7/18 Minor League highlights

Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell, three of the Cubs’ top prospects, all homered Thursday. Bryant and Baez went deep in Triple-A Iowa’s 7-0 victory at Round Rock, while Russell’s home run helped Double-A Tennessee defeat Huntsville, 4-1.

Baez and Bryant were playing their first game for Iowa in nearly a week after playing against each other in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game and then getting a few days off for the Triple-A All-Star break. The rest didn’t seem to faze them. Baez, ranked No. 6 on’s Top 100 Prospects list, went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games. And he was playing second base, and Iowa manager Marty Pevey said Baez “looked like an All-Star.”

Bryant, No. 8 on the Top 100, finished the game 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and two runs. His home run was his 32nd of the season between Tennessee and Iowa, giving him sole possession of first place on the Minor League leaderboard. He had been tied at 31 with Rangers’ No. 2 prospect Joey Gallo.

Russell, No. 11 on the Top 100, went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs and an RBI. It was his second home run of the season and first since he was traded to the Cubs as part of the deal that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s.

Baez, Bryant and Russell weren’t the only prominent Cubs prospects to homer Thursday. Tennessee outfielder Jorge Soler (No. 6), Class A Advanced Daytona first baseman Dan Vogelbach (No. 12) and Tennessee third baseman Christian Villanueva (No. 13) all hit long balls as well.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 283 other followers