Javier Baez was officially cut today but he went out in style. He had Cubs nation buzzing after hitting 4 HRs in two days, including two moonshots and 3 HRs on 3 consecutive pitches. Much is made of his bat speed, which is tremendous, and we tried to capture it in photos. As you will see, capturing Baez in motion is extremely difficult and at times it resembles a Marcel Duchamp painting, so I've broken it down into 8 separate shots. Notice the explosion with his hands and hip rotation, yet he keeps his head remarkably still and focused on the baseball.
(Scroll to the bottom to see pic-by-pic breakdown of Javier Baez's swing)
You'll get to watch him live today as he is playing SS and batting 2nd.
Here's today's lineup...
- David DeJesus, DH
- Javier Baez, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Brent Lillibridge, CF
- Dave Sappelt, RF
- Welington Castillo, C
- Christian Villanueva 3B
- Alberto Gonzalez, 2B
Starting pitcher: Scott Baker
5 things to watch:
- Javier Baez - If I have to give you a reason by now, you haven't been paying attention. Catch him while you can he's officially been cut. Jorge Soler was sent down to high Class A Daytona earlier today and Baez is expected to join him soon. 3Bs Josh Vitters, Junior Lake, Christian Villanueva, and catcher Rafael Lopez were also cut.
- Scott Baker makes his debut. Not expecting him to be in midseason form yet. Right now we're looking to see him gradually build velo, command and stamina.
- Brent Lillibridge gets the start in CF. Dave Sappelt played well in CF yesterday, but Lillibridge may help fill that RH hitter void.
- Anthony Rizzo missed out on the power parade yesterday. I expect him to make up for it today.
- The Cubs have a second game in Las Vegas. Here is that lineup. Carlos Villanueva gets the start.
And now, that Javier Baez swing...(Photo stills via a video taken by boysofspring.com.)