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Javier Baez, Cubs Recap and Spring Training Photos of Jackson, Baez, Soler, Vogelbach

The Cubs lost today 6-3 to the Indians.  Instead of the box score, which you can get by clicking on this link, I'll post some photos courtesy of reader Quedub.  Scroll to the bottom of the article to see the phot gallery.

Javier Baez

Heard a nice story about Javier Baez today.  Kevin Gallo tells us he was told that Baez did not choose a college early because he wanted scouts to keep coming to the game.  Not so they could see more of him, but for the scouts to get a chance to see more of his teammates in the process.  The more you hear about Baez, the more you realize the Cubs really did their homework on his mental makeup.  Baez was not expected to go in the top 10, partially because of some rumors on his attitude.  The Cubs found he was a good kid who was just that -- a kid.  He has proven the Cubs right so far and he continues to mature as a ballplayer and a person.  For more good stuff on Baez, check out this article by Mark Potash of the Sun-Times.

Thoughts on the game...

  • Edwin Maysonet hit an inside-the-park HR today, though it was more of a misplay by the outfielder.
  • Brad Nelson hit his 2nd HR of the spring.  He effectively replaces Bryan LaHair with one major difference -- Nelson is on a minor league contract and can be sent to AAA for depth.  Good depth pickup for the Cubs.
  • Tough outing for Scott Feldman, though announcer Len Kasper said he was trying to work on his breaking ball -- which is one more reason you shouldn't take spring statistics, especially veteran pitcher statistics, all that seriously.
  • Travis Wood pitched 4  solid innings today, giving up just one run on 3 hits.  He did not walk a batter.  With Matt Garza and Scott Baker on the DL, the Cubs will depend on Wood to be more than a back of the rotation starter early on.  He stepped up today and hopefully that carries into the season.
  • Jorge Soler had one AB and hit a single, which was a screaming line drive that the 2B couldn't handle. In fact, from Kasper's description, sounds like he was lucky to come away unscathed.
  • Rafael Dolis pitched a scoreless inning and appears to have made a change to his delivery/mechanics.  If you remember from last year, Dolis had a slow wind up with no leg kick.  This year the delivery is quicker and Dolis is going with a high leg kick.  If I had to guess, it could be that Dolis is trying to hide the ball better and/or add some deception.  He was hit way too easily last year for a guy with his kind of stuff.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    What, we didn't have enough reasons to love Javy Baez? That's an awesome story.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Very cool isn't? A nice, selfless act to try and get his teammates an extra look.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It's the second story today that makes him seem wise beyond his years. The initial one was in that article you posted and the interaction with Soriano. When Soriano sends someone to get him if he isn't in the weight room, you can imagine a very different reaction from, say, Nuke LaLoosh (so as to not insult a real person): "Who the hell is he? The manager doesn't care if I'm in the weight room, why should that old guy?" Instead, he seems to realize that Soriano is concerned for his future and is only too happy to listen to guys who have made it.

    I've been re-evaluating my opinions of him, and I realized that much of my dislike for his attitude came from snarky comments Kevin Goldstein made the day he swung through the take sign, and that's really not fair to Baez. Everything about him shows him to be, as you say, a really good kid who is just cursed and blessed with youth.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Baez had that rep and there's no doubt he has a swagger about him, so I think sometimes things get overplayed a bit. All the negative stuff seems to stem from a combination of being extremely competitive and immature/naive.

    I was at that same game that Goldstein talked about. Heard later that Baez just missed the sign. The Chiefs were up big but Baez said something to the effect of, "Whenever I see a good pitch I just want to hit it" -- but after his manager talked to him about it, he said he realized why it was frowned upon and chalked it up to a learning experience. He's a good kid, but very competitive and it seems that he's still learning where that line is. Looks like he's doing a good job doing that now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I've been saying this about this kid for a while. I've met him and talked at length about random stuff. Some of it baseball related, some of it not. Granted, he may not know me by name, but you can get a good feel for somebody's personality by being around them.

    His HS coach still raves about him....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's right, you're from that area.

    I know what you mean. Got a chance to see Baez a lot last year. Sometimes you can tell a lot just by observing hm around his teammates, coaches, and the kid seems to be well liked and respectful to everyone around him. Very friendly with us fans as well, even tossed me a baseball.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yes, he is. I also love the humility he is displaying around Major Leaguers..... His floor is getting higher.....

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Really hopes he makes it to Tennessee this year -- I'll have to road trip out to Knoxville to catch a game.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Altitude is 90% of the game. Having a personable demeanor usually helps to overcome the highs and lows associated with athletics. Weve all seen the arrogance of a Barney Bonds(who, in spite of his great talent, never won a WS) compared to the grace of a Micheal Jordan, who was as competitive on the court as anyone. Baez seems to be more MJ than BB.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    the story was told to me by either Mike Ferrin or Gregg Paulsen I can't remember which.

  • ST is about getting the players in shape, seeing who makes the
    team as an extra and watching the young prospects develop
    and progress.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yep, lots of stuff involved with spring training. It's one time not to get too excited or too worried about stats.

  • WBC update. A's 4 - Italia 3. Rizzo went 2 for 3 with an infield single and a long bomb to right center. Left the park REAL FAST.

  • In reply to AZBOB:

    Thanks AZBob! Forgot your out there in A's country!

  • fb_avatar

    Been reported that as many as 8 teams are looking hard at Marmol. At this point I can't see any scenario where he breaks camp with this team. That's a lot of interest. Hope we can land a solid prospect for him. Probably somewhere right below what the pirates got for Hanrahan.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    If at least two of them have genuine interest, you'd think Jed/Theo would be able to use mutual interest to drive up the return.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Saw that on MLB Trade Rumors. Just quoted league sources. We've been saying for awhile (since the deadline ended) that he'll be the next big name to go.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh yea agree we've been on it here so it's nothing new. Just the amount of teams was something I found interesting. If all serious eight is quite a number.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If we do trade Marmol this spring, how do you feel about the likely replacements?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    I like Fujikama to do well. Still have nice set up men in Camp, Russell. If they get value, they have to do it. Not sure they'll get it this spring, though.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Phil Rogers has his typical rumor headline....TIGERS MAY HAVE INTEREST IN MARMOL........as you read the story, the Tigers never contacted the Cubs yet on Marmol.....and Phil threw n Soriano as part of the trade........so sad we have reporters like Phil in a big city like Chicago.......Phil has no contact from Tigers GM..... nothing from Theo....nothing from Jed to add to his rumor.......I believe Phil is talking with some guy at the end of a bar to write his stories........................typical high school journalism once again from Phil.

    as I said before, Dombrowski is not talking to Theo.....there will no Tigers - Cubs trade......

    and you can forget about Olt also!

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I can't imagine any circumstances in which any GM would refuse to deal with any other GM because of a bidding war over a player both wanted.

    And Dombrowski is the best in the business. He didn't get that way by being stupid.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Agreed. If you get a trade offer to improve your team, you're not going to turn it down. The Cubs offer for Sanchez was just business.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Perhaps Theo isn't talking to Dombrowski for countering the offer he thought was a done deal on Sanchez.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Dombrowski isn't stupid, and I don't think that Epstein is either.

    Most professionals act in a professional manner. Or they don't stay professionals very long.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DaveP:

    The point was: Theo has more reason to be upset with Dombrowski than vice versa.

  • I think the author needs to check his facts. Baez never played in the outfield at ACD. He played all over the infield. I even saw him throwing in the bullpen once, not sure if he has ever pitched in a game beyond babe ruth though.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I know they tried him at catcher at some point. Remember reading about it. Don't remember if it was in the game or practice, but I remember it was even talked about when he was drafted.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I called one game with him at catcher and he was a pretty good backstop. I remember being impressed because I had seen him playing SS earlier. The next day was when I saw him playing 1B and warming up in the bullpen. I asked him then if there was anywhere he couldn't play and he just shrugged and said he never played outfield.

  • fb_avatar

    Please can we not mention Olt for Marmol !!! Olt has got to be the most talked about almost trade in the history of the Cubs.

  • In reply to Sportsgod:

    No...the longest trade rumor was Cubs getting Expos first baseman Mike Jorgensen.....that went on for about 8 years.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Got to throw Roberts and Peavy in that ring as well.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Rbirby:

    The Roberts one drove me insane. Placido Polanco deserves an honorable mention as well.

  • In reply to Rbirby:

    I was gonna mention Roberts.......

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The longest outgoing trade rumor was the 4 consecutive years they HAD to trade Sosa.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    When you mention Jorgensen, lets not forget who the GM of those Expos teams was-yep, one Dave Dombrowski.

  • John, a little off topic, but what kind of contract do you think soriano would have gotten were he a free agent this off season? I think maybe around a two year, 16MM deal which would make him about 22MM overpaid as his current contract stands.

  • In reply to NUcat:

    That sounds about right.

  • Brad Nelson must have atrocious defense. I really can't understand why a guy with good power, average, and OBP numbers is not in the Majors.

    I hope he latches on with the team. Also, I'm not really excited about trading Marmol. I like the potentially deep bullpen and the good defense.

    It's certainly debatable, but I think Marmol's value would be much higher at mid-season.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    With Nelson, it's pretty simple. He's 30 and he really hasn't put up scintillating #s in AAA the last 4 years.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    I tend to agree. Usually I like a guy with a full season but closers can pick up value later -- especially if they're having a good year. If Marmol builds on 2nd half and shows halfway decent control, I think teams might be willing to take a chance on him.

  • John, very well written article on Fangraphs today about the Wrigley renovation plans and the roadblocks the city is throwing up for the Ricketts.

  • Thanks CubbieRon. I'll check it out.

  • Don't be surprised, I don't give a hoot about what Rahm says, he doesn't like Joe Ricketts and his ilk will use politics against those who they disagree with. I long thought one of the least talked-about aspects of the Cubs attempted sale before Ricketts bought the team was that Blago was involved with trying to stick his corrupt nose in there somewhere.

  • I read the article on MLB Trade rumors and ESPN ..... it said "several teams" not 8 teams. Where did 8 teams come from ?

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    I don't know but according to Kap and Wittenmeyer, there isn't any validity to the rumor at all. I think it was speculation by Levine and it sort of ran wild from there.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Was that from the show tonight? 5 hours ago Kap tweeted: "marmol on the move... what uniform will he be wearing opening day?" Confusing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Same here John, sounds like it was Bruce Levine hearing chatter and ran with it. As usual it started a snowball effect, I really don't expect any real Cub trade rumors until June.

  • If Marmol is not traded before opening day, is there any chance Levine might be fired for making something up and treating it like it is fact? These guys need to be held to a higher standard.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    The business of newspapers is selling ad space, no more, no less. If a reporter makes something up, crediting it to "something he overheard", you can't dispute that. It also makes sort of an exclusive, making the story even more valuable. I have an extremely low opinion of most reporters, so please don't mind me.

    John, I finally got around to catching up on your previews of the different farm teams yesterday. Great work, fastidiously done. Thanks!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    The NY times and the Washington Post wouldn't have many "reporters" left if truth were what they wanted.

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