Maybe Joe Maddon was feeling a little grumpy after having his motives questioned. It could have been the fallout from using Aroldis Chapman to get four outs Saturday or even residual crust from his much-maligned decision to pinch run for Anthony Rizzo late in a loss to the White Sox. The runner in that situation was the source of the undie-twisting query in question prior to Sunday night’s game.
“I didn’t know he was a regular,” Maddon responded when asked whether Javy Baez was just getting a day off.
Easy there, Joe, save that salt for the winter months.
You wonder if perhaps some of the trade-deadline maneuvering is weighing on the normally stress-free skipper. Or maybe he forgot his fiber this morning. There’s also the possibility that I’m reading way too much into this and piling dirt on the molehill. Still, the answer is curious coming from a guy who, while eccentric, is always very well-spoken.
While Baez is a man without a regular position, I find it disingenuous to say that he’s not a regular. I mean, sure, he has fewer plate appearances than a guy who just sat out a whole month with a hamstring injury. But with 2.0 fWAR and a .289/.330/.468 slash line, not to mention a plus glove at three infield spots, Baez has forced himself into the lineup. Hell, he just batted cleanup on Saturday. While I know Maddon didn’t mean this as a slight to his super-sub, it kinda came off that way.
This is probably as inconsequential an issue as you’ll find with this team and it’ll be forgotten by the time we wake up Monday, so take this with a grain of what Maddon used to season his words. It’s just one of those out-of-character moments that stood out to me like a sour note in the midst of a virtuoso musical performance. Just get back in tune and move on, I guess.