And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Javy Baez is officially back! If you were one of many speculating last night that Baez would be handling second base duties, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily going way out on a limb, but hey, who’s judging?
Tuesday’s game will mark the first time Baez has played alongside Kris Bryant and Addison Russell since their promotions earlier this year and it’s also the first time Kyle Schwarber has joined that trio. If only Soler was healthy! Think about it: the Cubs could be starting 5 rookies in September with the intention of contending for a playoff spot. That’s kinda crazy. It’s also kinda proof that their plan is working.
Let’s look over this lineup real quick: that’s 3 draft picks, a minor-league deal, and 5 trades. The Cubs have done a great job of grooming their young talent while acquiring solid veterans with which to surround them and it’s paying off in a big way. The only thing I question here is Javy’s spot in the order.
I’m not sure it’s best to take a guy who struggled mightily in his first go-round and who has had his share of strikeout issues and hit him right ahead of the pitcher. I was hoping for a softer landing, perhaps by slotting Cogs down in the 7-spot and moving everyone else up one. But it’s a Maddon, Maddon, Maddon, Maddon world and I’m just livin’ in it.
Regardless, it’s pretty exciting to have Baez back, particularly when he can be surrounding by other hyped prospects and a greater degree of talent than he had last year. The pressure — not to mention the expectations — is less this time and I think the adjustments he’s made at Iowa can really help him to make the most of this new opportunity. Here’s to you, Javy, let’s see what you’ve got.