Javier Baez starting at 2B today

Javier Baez starting at 2B today

Well this is interesting...

2b baes

You  can interpret this is in anyway you want, but there is no question the Cubs want Baez to play 2B.  This is not an injury/short-handed situation.  Valaika could easily play 2B here.

This is a move with an eye toward the future, though I doubt that is coming anytime soon.  It may be that the Cubs want to be more prepared than they were when they called up Junior Lake and Arismendy Alcantara, situations in which the two had to learn a new position at the major league level.  But given that the Cubs have talked about Alcantara returning to Iowa to play more CF, the Cubs will probably look to give Baez plenty of reps at 2B.

It will be interesting to see how often he plays there.

And you thought there would be no interesting baseball to watch?

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  • I'd like to see Alcantara stay up to play 2B for the rest of the season and then work on CF in the off season and spring training

  • In reply to MendyMania:

    I would prefer AA play CF the rest of the year and let LV play 3rd and Bonifacio play 2nd unless Bryant and Baez get a call up in Sept. I can see some of AA and Soler in the outfield together in Sept with Couglan and Ruggiano in Left and giving AA and Soler breaks on occasion. I feel that AA's future is not at 2nd unless Bryant moves to the OF.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    play olt at 3rd, are we not playing for the future?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Olt is not the future.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Wait, what? A 3B with a .144 avg, -0.3 WAR, and leaky glove is not the future?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Fiture? Olt has none in the majors.

  • In reply to MendyMania:

    Why not start now?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly. AA shows enough command at 2B that there's no need for him to log time there. He's good enough to hack it defensively at the 2B position in Chicago. Make him play CF whether he's in the bigs or in Iowa for the rest of the 2014 season.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    CF is a speed not skill position. You can't teach speed. What's to learn? Run after the ball and catch it. I say play the kids where you expect them to wind up, whether it's in Wrigley or the minors.

  • In reply to MendyMania:

    I agree 100%. This could be changed based on trades that may occur in the next couple weeks.

  • In reply to race:

    Bite you tongue. The last trade was a disaster.

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    Among the top five best Cubs news I've heard this year.

  • As long as does not affect the Service time (i.e., 6 yr) play them now

  • And just to make it a little different in terms of prospects to watch, Vogelbach just homered at Daytona. Nowwhat do we do with him?

  • Round Rock radio dudes:

    "And here's Kris Bryant, who they have on the fast track this year. More on that after this pitch."

    Any guesses on how the conversation went after that? If your answer includes "Oh, my...," then you might have won something.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Sweet. I like it. Baez too.

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    In reply to Eldrad:

    So what did they say ?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    "Oh, my..."

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    Pray for a DH.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Supposed to be a response to price writer. Sorry.

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    Everyone assumes that Baez won't be called up the year because of service time. Just like everyone assumed Shark and Hammel would be traded separately and with a focus on acquiring pitchers, I would not be surprised if the assumptions are wrong. The Cubs' management team doesn't adhere to what others believe is right.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    The front office does, however, manage a team wisely. Bringing out Baez this year (and adding him to the 40 man to do so) just is not a wise move.

    Also, Baez isn't dominating AAA as he is only hitting .240, so its not like he doesn't have more development to do.

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    In reply to springs:

    You might be right. But you don't know. Just like I don't know. The "plan" now may be to go after Price and Lester and try to win next year. So they might want to give Baez a chance to prepare as well as possible. They've never said that, just like they've never said they are focused on service time.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    You are right that I don't know. I guess the best thing to say is, without more knowledge of the reaasoning, I wouldn't think it a wise move to pull a Hendry and bring Baez up.

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    In reply to springs:

    I think in the end you'll be right. Be I'm always wary of conventional wisdom.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Seems to me that bringing them up to Chicago this year is the conventional wisdom.

    IF they are ready (which seems reasonable), Baez and Bryant will be up late April or early May next year, not before.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Actually - I think that the biggest (and most logical) reason to NOT call up Baez or Bryant in September (although I would love to see what they can do too) is that neither is currently on the 40-man and would require a roster move.

    The service time issues may also enter into the calculation as to why they haven't been moved to the 40-man, but whom are the Cubs ready to drop from that pool at present to make room for these two?

    I suspect we will see Soler - assuming he can stay healthy and some more of Alcantara, likely some of Vailiaka (sp.) and Watkins as those are moves that can be made without a roster shake-up.

    My guess - they'll be moved onto the 40 man come Winter, IF they need to be moved onto it to protect them from poaching. And we'll see them sometime next Spring.

    It'll be worth the wait IMO.

  • Addison Russell hit his first homer since joining the Cubs!

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    Crap, here comes the "Trade Castro Comments".

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    I wonder what we can get for Castro?

    :)

  • As regards Baez getting some game time at 2B,.... had to figure it was going to start happening sooner or later.

    Am personally glad it is happening sooner,....

  • Cubs cannot afford to fall flat on their ass for a fourth consecutive April. Could this move have something to do with that? As Ricky Roma once said, "Perhaps."

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    We'll know if they go crazy buying pitchers. If they don't think they are quite ready, they will probably not be too aggressive IMO. I think they will make a run at it just about the time Price becomes a free agent. Makes sense to me but what do I know.

  • I know we young blood on the old Cubs team, but we should not
    bring up before they are really ready. Don't him batting under.200
    after his first 100 AB's

  • Also Underwood pitching well tonight. 6 shutout innings, 3 H, 1 BB and 3 K. And all other outs on ground outs (12-0 GO to FO, with 2 DP and 1 runner out trying to stretch to a 2B). He is out now (tied 0-0 in 7th) with ERA done to 2.36

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    In reply to springs:

    Nice, that's some real good news

  • Bryant, Baez, Russell, Soler, Vogelbach all with home runs tonight. That is a scary powerful group of prospects.

  • In reply to Henry Loose:

    What's the over under on how many games into their combined careers -- when they're all up here together - will it be when Bryant, Baez, Soler and Rizzo all homer in the same game? I'll say Game 5 -- only because the wind will be blowing in for the first four.

  • What's the rationale for sending Alacantara back down? Please don't tell me service time. Or to learn CF in the minors instead of the majors since winning isn't the goal right now.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Um, so I can see him play again? That's my rationale.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Ha! But you have Bryant and Baez and looks like you'll have them for he rest of the season, and maybe Soler too! Let us have AA. He's been such a spark up here.

  • In reply to TTP:

    But, like Johnny Rocco, "I want more."

  • In reply to TTP:

    You answered your own question: "winning isn't the goal right now."

    Arismendy cannot be trusted to not spark more wins than is helpful. The Cubs are not going to the playoffs this year, so the front office wants a high draft pick.

    If the collection of extras had hit in April the way they are hitting now, things would be different.

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    As someone who sincerely wants the pick, I would be stunned if that was the thinking. (If that were the case, he would have been gone after his first 2 games.)

    I take them at their word that it's about learning the position and, if he does return, they feel it is easier to do in AAA.

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    I don't see the Cubs trying to tank wins for a higher pick as a top priority. I think they will focus on what's best for their foundation players and their development. That's the central focus. Cubs will likely have a top 10 pick even if they did get hot and close to .500 to end the season.

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    In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    Oh no, they are tanking for a reason. They want to get a top 5 pick plus the $$ that goes with it. I also think that they believe this is going to be the last time for them to be picking so low in the draft.

    If they are really serious about AA giving this team that big of a boost in CF, they just have to look at Olt, Schierholtz, Lake, and Barney's batting avg or war. Plus IMO whatever positives AA bring w the bat and speed, he is going to make errors and take bad routes in CF which will help negate his offensive prowess . ( assuming he really needs that much work in CF, but the one game I saw him play in CF, he looked real calm and smooth out there).

    I hope they can just trade Barney w some other AAA guys that could use a chance if scenery.

    How about Barney, Vitters, and Brett Jackson to KC for Bubba starling and a lottery ticket. Bubba may blossom w the fresh start and some new coaching

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Is that a trade that KC would think smart though? Are the combo of Barney, Vitters and BJax (and the roster moves that KC would have to make to take them in) worth it to KC and do they help them out this year?

    My guess is - NOT.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Exactly......I have no clue why they would send him down. Getting Barney playing time so They think he can up his trade value.?....that is not going to happen.

    If the don't want him at 2nd, put him in CF and let him learn. It's not like the games matter.

    I will be very disappointed if he's not in the show for the rest of the year. Add in the fact that Soler is prob going to be in Iowa at some or this year, so there could be a crowd in the outfield.

  • In reply to TTP:

    To tank at the mlb level for one more high draft pick. :D

  • In reply to TTP:

    I think you hit 2 of the 3 reasons to send AA down.
    1. service time
    2. learn CF in the minors
    3. keep from winning too many games this year and messing up next year draft position.

  • Baez needs to play 2B more often....his OPS there is much higher than at SS (2 AB at 2B, 1 HR)

  • In regards to you tweet john. Baez,Bryant, Russell and Soler oh my! I can't wait until that happens for the big club. Something tells me it's not that far away! Getting excited!

  • In reply to Naf023:

    Me too!

  • Baez stayed at SS until he started to hit, he adjusted to AAA. Now he can be moved to the position he will be brought up to play.

  • If Vogelbach can tap into his plus plus power potential, he could be the best candidate to be traded for a TOR pitcher. He is limited to 1B or DH, while every other power bat can play multiple positions. There is no room for him with Rizzo at 1st and no DH in the NL.

  • In reply to lets go cubs:

    They can decide what to do with Dan in a couple years. They don't need to do anything right now except develop his baseball skills.

  • Iowa game question: are these the same announcers that used the wind as excuse for a Baez XBH a few weeks ago?
    They must be, because they just blamed the wind for stopping a Round Rock home run...

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Yes. They are the worst.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I didn't know Hawk was moonlighting... ;)

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    This is real curious because where does this leave Bryant, and Russell? I'd have figured Bryant to be more suited for 3B. I know one or two of the guys you talked to thought Russell would outgrow SS, and thought he'd be a 3B. Is that where the Cubs see him at when he makes the majors? Castro looks like he'll stay at short unless he's dealt. Don't think that's happening though. He and Rizzo while the foundation of the youth movement are also those veterans that Theo, and Jed always talk about. They're going to be 4-5 year vets.Crazy even saying that. Castro is a 3 time all star with still more room for growth. I mean he's proven at the MLB level, and at a premium position. With Almora on the come among others OF is suddenly getting crowded too. Putting Bryant out there makes it even more so. What is your feeling on this John? What do you think this move is saying as far as what the Hierarchy's future plan is, or are they just throwing stuff against the wall and see if it sticks?

  • In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    We have a year or two to figure that out.

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    In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    Assuming Russell blossoms and forces his way to the majors next year.

    We will have ourselves a Baltimore Orioles situation and we will follow their lead. 2 years ago, they had young superstar SS out if miami in the minors. They wanted to bring him up, but they had a productive veteran manning SS on a big contract, playing avg to above average D. Sound familiar ?

    Manny Machado came up and played Third Base while JJ Hardy kept his SS position which greatly improved their D as Machado ( a plus defenser at SS, a big one w a lot of room to fill out, ( sound familiar) ) played excellent D at 3rd and Hardy continued to play SS.

    I see the same thing happening on the north side. Russell starts playing 3rd base next year at Iowa ( which shouldn't be too hard for him ) and continues mash. At some point we wil have 3 short stops on the infield and another in the outfield. The defense should be legit, and look for jedstein to be targeting ground ball pitchers.

    Where will Kris Bryant play ? Either corner outfield positions and he could also play 3B when Russell or Castro gets a day off. ( Castro off, Russell shifts to SS and Bryant plays 3B )

    Not a bad problem to have

  • 2B is going to be Baez's long term position but I think the timing of this move is as much or more to prepare for Addison Russell's arrival in Des Moines before the season is out than it is to prep Baez for a late season call up.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I def agree with that train of thought. I just hope they keep double A up in the show until he shows he shouldn't be up at this level anymore.

    Regardless, it is imperative that Baez get reps at some position other then SS for September or next May. ( may most likely ). I am glad they are thinking ahead

  • I would love to see Russell playing SS and Solar in the OF at Iowa for the PCL postseason, but I don't think it will happen.

    I think best case scenario is that Russell is a mid season call up in 2015 to play 3B and Bryant moves to the outfield. Maybe they shop Castro at that point, but I don't think they will move him until they have seen Baez, Bryant and Russell produce at the major league level.

  • Interesting info and personal reflections on Haiti there by the Round Rock announcers. It might be of interest if Rivero was, in fact, born in Haiti.

    i mean they're choked up about it.

    I should be recording this.

  • Question: at what point does someone tell the Round Rock announcers that Rivero is from Cuba, not Haiti?

  • ooooooooooh, that would be interesting! But I don't think Bryant is sticking at 3B. I think he has less chance staying there than Baez or Russel at SS.

    One curiosity is that Baez has the best arm. Not sure about Castro. Maybe John knows. So you would think Baez would go to 3B. I want to know who has the best feet and quickest exchange!

  • I wonder how big of an impact Manny have left on the young guys. If it is a big one (and it could just be Baez is 21 and had to adjust to a much older league) I wonder if the Cubs would offer him a major league coaching job. Don't some teams have 2 hitting coaches?

    A Spanish speaking guy who is an encyclopedia of baseball knowledge wouldn't be the worst guy to have around...

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    As far as I know the Cubs have 2 hitting coaches. I'm not even sure if Manny knows what he is going to do or wants to do.

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    In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I remember posting about that when it was announced a couple weeks back. I really hope he can either become the head batting coach at Iowa or become the assistant hitting coach( plus maybe 3b/1bcoach ) w the cubs.

    If the NL had the DH, I wouldn't mind having Manny as a player /coach when all the power is out. I think there is a lot of value in having Manny on the bench. He's by far the guy w the best offensive street cred in the whole organization and its not even close.

  • Wait - I didn't think it was legal for SS to change positions? I thought the only option was to trade them?

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    Is it me or does that Iowa lineup tonight look almost as good as the Cubs? Insert Rizzo & Castro and away we go!

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    Scott Boras running his mouth again about his client, Kris Bryant. Kind of sounds like Paul Heyman talking about his client Brock Lesnar.........

    http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80825227/

    Good thing Bryant isn't buying into his nonsense yet...........

  • OT, but is a perfect CJ Edwards comp Rich Harden? Who says no?

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I don't remember much about Harden when he was in the minors, but the knock on him was always his frame.

    Although if CJ Edwards can give 4-5 rich harden type years, I will be ecstatic. Even if that means we have to move him to the pen around age 28-30 ?

    Harden was a real good player. Too bad his career wasn't long enough.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree, and I hope he can reach that level. Small frame, won't be TOR because he won't be a 200 inning horse, but has electric stuff.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Harden wasn't a top/elite prospect as be was drafted in the 17th round, Very similar to CJ, 48th round pick right.

    Cubs also got Chad Gaudin in that trade. I believe the Cubs pulled that trade early July kind if like the shark n Hammel trade.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Correct, CJ was for the most part unheard of from a small school in the south and drafted very late. 48 does ring a bell.

  • My very uneducated guess is the FO is thinking Baez at 2B long-term. If Addison progresses, move Castro to 3B and Bryant to RF. Rizzo at 1B, Baez at 2B, Addison at SS, Castro at 3B, Mendy in CF, Bryant in RF. Lots of flexibility if it doesn't pan out. Don't trade any of them. You can always pick up one IF and/or OF if someone doesn't make it. Maybe I just don't get it, but this seems to be the obvious strategy.

  • Just got in from seeing the latest edition of the "Whatever-You-Can-Do-I-Can-Do-Better" show starring Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. Definitely worth the price of admission.

  • I would have to think that the FO is very pleased with the developmental staff in the minors as well as the big club. I would also think they are starting to lose sleep, not from anxiety or depression, but from excitement over trying to figure out how to handle the coming talent, with all kinds of trade and signing scenarios running through their heads. Wouldn't any of us love to have a conversation with them to find out how they are thinking about all this?

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    They won't tell anyone what they are planning. All we have to do is wait and watch. We will find out soon enough.

  • 60 years of waiting for prospects to turn into a contender is a tad tiresome. Trading TOR pitchers for more magic beans is just plain stupid. Pitchinfg is how to win in MLB.
    This is my final year of paying any attention to the Cubs.

  • Of course that isn't possible. I wish that it were.
    I agree that Theo has reclaimed the farm system, but I've lived through many cycles of good and bad seasons when prospects came and went. Still only a handful of contenders in 60 years. '69 and '84 were tragic,After fnishing 8th and hiring Leo who said "This no 8th place team", we finished 10th the next year. IO have come to the realization that there will be no championships in Wrigley. It is the day games that cause the late. season failures.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Misery and destruction. dung and death. And so it has been, and so it will be, ever anon. Let us go now and pour libations to the gods.

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