Results tagged ‘ Javier Baez ’

3/17 Baez to start at 2B

Javier Baez will start at second base for the Cubs in their split-squad game at Phoenix against the Athletics on Monday. Baez last played second on a regular basis his freshman year in high school.

“I’m just ready for anything,” Baez said Monday. “I just want to play second. We’ll see how it goes today.”

He’ll be matched up with Darwin Barney, who will start at shortstop against the A’s.

“I’m pretty sure he’ll help me and tell me how to play it,” Baez said.

The Cubs’ top prospect, Baez has been working with infield coach Gary Jones early to learn the different angles needed. Baez was taking grounders at second on Sunday in Las Vegas.

In high school, Baez also played shortstop, catcher and center field. He probably won’t have to catch for the Cubs.

“I don’t think so either,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/17 Cubs lineups – UPDATED

The Cubs play more split squad games on Monday, and if you’re going to Phoenix, you’ll see Javier Baez at second base against the Athletics. Mike Olt was scratched from the A’s game. Here’s updated lineups:

Here are the lineups:
Cubs vs. Athletics:
Lake CF
Barney SS
Kalish RF
Valaika 1B
Baez 2B
Villanueva 3B
Vitters DH
B. Jackson LF
Whiteside C
J. McDonald P

Cubs vs. Angels:
Bonifacio SS
Roberts 2B
Rizzo 1B
Ruggiano CF
Schierholtz RF
Castillo C
Sweeney DH
McDonald LF
Valbuena 3B
E. Jackson P

3/15 Cubs Vegas lineup

Tsuyoshi Wada gets the start for the Cubs on Saturday in Las Vegas when they face the Mets at Cashman Field. The game will be broadcast on WGN TV. Here’s the lineup:

Barney 2B
Murphy 3B
Schierholtz DH
Rizzo 1B
Sweeney CF
Baez SS
McDonald RF
Whiteside C
Szczur LF

* Jeff Samardzija is starting for the Cubs in Surprise against the Royals. That game will be broadcast on WGN Radio.

3/15 Baez to play 2B

Top prospect Javier Baez started at shortstop on Saturday but he’s expected to move to second base either Monday or Tuesday, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said, to get some experience there.

“His work has been real good over there,” Renteria said Saturday. “He played a little bit [there] in high school, from what I understand. I think getting to that side won’t be a problem. Guys come after you, and you have to make sure you can manuever around the bag.”

Baez, who is tied with Mike Olt for the team lead with three home runs this spring, looks as if he might physically be better suited for third than second.

“I don’t look at the physical type, I look at the actions — the footwork, the arm action, the glove handling,” Renteria said. “Those dictate more to me than the body type what a guy can and can’t do. He’s an infielder, and he probably can do any number of positions out there.”

The Cubs have said Baez will play shortstop at Triple-A Iowa, and whether he’ll move there is “to be determined,” Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/12 Mariners 8, Cubs 7, 10 innings

Ty Kelly hit a walkoff RBI single in the 10th to lift the Mariners to an 8-7 victory Wednesday night over the Cubs. Kelly connected off Marcus Hatley with two on and nobody out. Mike Olt went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs, and Javier Baez belted his third spring home run. John Baker drove in three runs with a double in the sixth.

* The Cubs have Thursday off, and return to Cactus League play on Friday when they play host to the Dodgers at Cubs Park in Mesa. Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, gets the start. This will be Hendricks’ third Cactus League start. In his last outing against the Brewers, he gave up two runs on three hits over three innings. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on Cubs.com

3/12 Extra bases

* Top prospect Javier Baez is projected as the starting shortstop at Triple-A Iowa but will get some playing time at second base in Cactus League games, beginning next week, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Wednesday.

“We want to still be able to see him work and play at different positions,” Renteria said. “We still haven’t gotten him over at second base. We plan on doing it Monday or Tuesday. We’ll go from there, maybe working him at third.”

Baez has been working with infield coach Gary Jones at second and third.

* Jason Hammel and Eric Jokisch will face Minor Leaguers on Thursday, which is an off day for the Cubs, so they can stay on schedule. Hammel has made one Cactus League start last Saturday against the Reds, and gave up two hits over three innings. The right-hander admitted he had a few butterflies before the game, his first with the Cubs.

* Sunday’s Cubs game against the Indians in Mesa will be telecast on Comcast SportsNet and will be entirely commercial free. According to a Comcast spokesman, the broadcast will feature interviews and features on players and coaches. The broadcast will begin at 3 p.m. CT.

* The ninth Annual “Race to Wrigley” 5k will be held April 12 at Wrigley Field. Voted “Best 5k in the Midwest” in 2013 by Competitor magazine, last year’s event drew approximately 6,000 runners and raised more than $300,000 for Cubs Charities and the Ann & and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

The top fundraising team and individual fundraiser will receive tickets to the April 22 Cubs game against the Diamondbacks and be recognized in a pre-game ceremony. Anyone who raises more than $1,000 will have the opportunity to run a post-race victory lap around the ballpark’s warning track. For more information and to register, go to http://www.racetowrigley.com.

– Carrie Muskat

3/12 Cubs lineup

James McDonald is scheduled to throw three innings tonight in Peoria, Ariz., when the Cubs face the Mariners in a rare night game. The game will be available on webcast on Cubs.com and you also can watch on MLB.TV, although it’s the Mariners’ broadcast. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio 2B
Lake CF
Wells RF
Olt DH
Baez SS
Kalish LF
Valaika 1B
Villanueva 3B
Baker C

McDonald P

3/11 Extra bases

* Travis Wood is hoping the Cubs get all the dropped balls and strange plays out of their system this spring. On Tuesday, the Cubs lefty was charged with five runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings, with two runs scoring on singles that never left the infield. The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first, and with two outs in the third, Nolan Arenado was credited with a triple on a ball that center fielder Junior Lake lost in the sun. Wood gave up hits to the next five batters, including a two-run homer to Kyle Parker, before he was lifted.

“It’s going to happen, it’s part of baseball,” Wood said. “You see it every year. I’ve got to come back and help him out of the inning. I felt I made some good pitches and they put some good swings on them.”

The Rockies also got a couple breaks. Wood could only shrug after his outing.

“I said it’s just one of those days,” the lefty said. “Luckily, it happened in spring, so we can move forward from that and get ready for the next one.”

* James Russell, slowed this spring because of a tired arm, will make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday in the Cubs’ game against the Mariners. Russell has appeared in more than 70 games in relief in back to back seasons, and manager Rick Renteria said he is very cognizant of a pitcher’s usage. The Cubs do have another lefty, Wesley Wright, who could pick up some of the workload for Russell during the season.

* Javier Baez is taking ground balls at second and third before batting practice and Renteria will try to get the Cubs’ top prospect at one of those positions in a Cactus League game soon but is looking for the right shortstop to match up with. Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa at shortstop.

“We’re going to make sure when we do put him there we’re really comfortable and confident he can handle that side of the diamond,” Renteria said. “I think it’s pretty close.”

Darwin Barney started his second game at shortstop on Tuesday, and Renteria said that would be the most likely pairing with Baez because they want someone with experience.

* Mike Olt, who has not started at third to protect a tender right shoulder, is “getting close” to playing there in a Cactus League game. Olt did make a perfect throw on a double play in Monday’s game against the Giants, which impressed Renteria.

* Shortstop Starlin Castro, sidelined with a mild right hamstring strain since March 2, was able to do some light baseball activity on Tuesday. He was expected to get into games early next week.

* Edwin Jackson will face Minor League hitters on Wednesday at the Cubs’ complex to stay on schedule, while James McDonald gets the start that night against the Mariners. Renteria said Tuesday he has yet to talk to Jackson since his last Cactus League start March 7 when the right-hander decided to only throw fastballs, but didn’t tell either the manager or pitching coach Chris Bosio. Jackson gave up three runs on four hits over three innings against Cleveland.

“I’m sure we’ll have the discussion, and that will be between me and him,” Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/6 Baez OK after foul ball

Cubs manager Rick Renteria wasn’t surprised that Javier Baez’s left ankle hurt when he fouled a ball off it.

“I was saying to him, ‘If the ball came off the bat like a normal human being’s ball comes off the bat, you would’ve been OK,'” Renteria said Thursday, “‘But since yours comes off like a bullet train, I would’ve gone down, too.'”

Baez lay on the ground for a few seconds, but stayed in the game. In his next at-bat, he hit an opposite field home run. Guess he was feeling OK.

“That was a great at-bat,” Renteria said of the home run in the Cubs’ loss to the Rockies. “Once he got to two strikes, the approach is significantly important. Most times, guys like Javy still want to drive the ball, but he’s capable of driving the ball to any part of the ballpark.”

It’s all part of the development process for Baez, who will open the 2014 season at shortstop for Triple-A Iowa. He’s been working at second and third as well in early sessions with coach Gary Jones, and Renteria said they will start Baez in a game at one of those positions soon.

The Cubs’ top prosect, Baez has been the center of attention this spring.

“It’s great, great for Javy, great for the Cubs,” Renteria said. “He’s an exciting player, as you guys all have seen. it’s not like you can hide it.”

And he does hit the ball hard, which is why Renteria cringed a little when he saw Baez on the ground after the foul ball.

“When he went down, I didn’t know if it was his foot, or shin,” Renteria said. “I just know the ball comes off his bat hot and it must have hurt wherever it hit.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/5 Rockies 7, Cubs 5

Javier Baez and George Kottaras hit back to back home runs for the Cubs but the Rockies took advantage of a throwing error by Christian Villanueva to post a 7-5 win on Wednesday in front of 10,598 at Cubs Park. Ironically, the Rockies made five errors in the game.

With the game tied at 3 in the seventh, the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs against Chris Rusin on a single and two walks. The lefty was lifted for Minor Leaguer Ryan Searle, and Rosell Herrera greeted him with a two-run single. Villanueva threw the ball into shallow right trying to get Herrera at second, and two more runs scored on the miscue.

Chicago loaded the bases in the seventh and scored on an infield single by Aaron Cunningham and a wild pitch by Kraig Sitton.

Charlie Blackmon tripled to open the game and scored one out later on Carlos Gonzalez’s groundout. It was a tough inning for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija, who took a liner by Michael Cuddyer off his leg.

“I’m pretty used to these comebacker, get drilled kind of things,” Samardzija said. “It happened a few times last year. It’s part of pitching. Protect the vital organs and hopefully [the ball] stops close to you and you can get the guy out.”

Ryan Kalish reached on a throwing error by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to lead off the Chicago first, stole second, reached third on a wild pitch by Tyler Chatwood and scored on a throwing error by catcher Mike McKenry to tie the game.

The Rockies loaded the bases with one out in the third, and Samardizja walked Gonzalez to force in a run. Tulowitzki followed with a sacrifice fly to go ahead, 3-1. Samardzija exited after giving up three runs on four hits over three innings.

The Cubs cringed in the third when Baez, their top prospect, fouled a ball off his left ankle, and fell to the ground. He lay there a few seconds, and after getting checked by an athletic trainer and manager Rick Renteria, stayed in the game. Baez looked just fine in the sixth when he hit an opposite field home run, his second this spring. Kottaras followed with his first blast to tie the game at 3.

* Travis Wood makes his first Cactus League start on Thursday when the Cubs travel to Goodyear to face the Indians. Wood’s first outing was washed out because of rain and he ended up throwing two innings of a simulated game under cover. The lefty is coming off his first season of 200 innings. Darwin Barney will make his first spring start at shortstop as the Cubs try to make the most of Starlin Castro being sidelined with a hamstring injury. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.

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