At this point, it’s just a matter of time before the Cubs bring Javier Baez back to Chicago for another shot at the Bigs. He’s now started three consecutive games at third base for Iowa and has gotten his average up to .314 on the season and is hitting .318 in June and .321 over the last 30 days.
Javy is striking out less and his splits are very similar vs. both righties and lefties. Oh, and the power? Well…
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 7, 2015
It’s difficult to tell from Birch’s tweet, but from what I understand, Baez really crushed the ball. But through the glory and wonder of the interwebs, we needn’t rely on imagination alone. Thanks to The Blogfines’ Matt Clapp, we’ve got a Vine of the shot, which does indeed appear to have been crushed. Absolutely crushed.
And here’s the clip from the MiLB.com highlight vault:
But if you’re holding your breath waiting to see him slotted in at the hot corner or DH when the Cubs travel to Detroit next week, you might want to go ahead and exhale.
Based on the math supplied by Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation, it looks as though the Cubs can still gain an extra year of control with Baez by keeping him down through June 11th, which falls after the 2-game series in the Motor City. I know people are probably growing weary of all the service time manipulation but it makes sense.
Think about it: if Baez can truly put it together and live up to the hype, isn’t that extra year worth sacrificing his presence in two games? I’ve gone back and forth in my thoughts on this young man and whether he’ll be able to succeed, but the current Cubs situation seems far more amenable to success than last season.
When Baez came up last year, he did so while bearing the brunt of the publicity, essentially becoming the focal point of the team from the moment he was called up. Now, however, he’s not going to be asked to be the savior of the team or to hit the new video board every at-bat. Heck, he could even bat at the bottom of the order.
Capable of playing three infield positions, Baez could be a super sub who enables Joe Maddon to rest other guys without seeing the drop-off normally experienced by subbing in Jon Herrera (outside of his performance Saturday, that is). It also allows Kris Bryant to flex out to left more often to see whether he can really be viable there long-term.
It’s a question of when, not if, Baez comes up at this point. He’s got nothing left to prove in Des Moines, so now it’s just a matter of taking care of unfinished business in Chicago.