The Cubs Don't Need Javier Baez

The Cubs Don't Need Javier Baez
What if Javy Baez tops out as the right-handed Pedro Alvarez?

Yeah, I said it.  No, I'm not drunk.

And I am indeed talking about the wunderkind with the ability to make grown men swoon.  With dreamy power generated by a nightmarish swing, Baez has injected new life into a fanbase starved for both stars and wins.  Cubs fans are salivating at the mere thought of seeing Baez launch baseballs over the ivy.

I'm sure some folks saw the shot he hit the other night, the one that nearly took out the scoreboard in left, and extrapolated out to the days when he might do the same to Tom Ricketts' new LED video board at Wrigley.  But before we go putting the overloaded cart ahead of the emaciated horse, I've got this to say: the Chicago Cubs don't need Javier Baez...yet.

Oh, did I omit "yet" from the title?  My bad.

But before I go any further in my defense of the decision to keep Javy in the minors, I want to admit something to you: I am addicted to Candy Crush.  Yes, I enjoy -- and am infuriated by -- a stupid game that involves lining up like-colored candies in the oft-futile attempt to beat a level.

But lest you label my endeavors as juvenile and pedantic, understand that at least one respected mathematician has lent credence to the fact that CC is awesome, assigning it the designation of NP-complete.  I'm not going to pretend that I know what that means on anything other than the most cursory level, but I do know that it's in the same league as Mario Bros. and Zelda. That's heady stuff, right there.

Anyway, in my efforts to slog through the mind-numbing levels of the game, I happened upon a cheat that worked wonders for my progress.  You see, the game gives you up to 5 attempts at a time, and you are given a new attempt every 30 minutes.  So if you fail 5 times, you must wait 30 minutes to play again or 2 1/2 hours to have a full set.

However, if you manually override your phone's time settings, you can trick the game into thinking time has elapsed, thus granted you more attempts.  It's not much different from tapping out up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, A, B, select, start.  Or even 007-373-5963.  Well, the latter just advances you to Mike Tyson; the former is where it's at though.

That nice little time-cheat has bought me hundreds of extra attempts, thus allowing me to make it all the way to the end of Candy Crush on several occasions.  But they keep making new levels, so I keep playing; I'm currently sitting at 530.  Don't believe me?


Nerd alert!

And while it may be true that if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin', trying to game the system can and will come back to bite you in the ass.  You see, the trick to changing your clock to gain extra attempts is that you need to remember to go back and reset it to auto-detect the time zone.

That isn't as easy to remember when you're playing later in the evening, and I thought nothing of it as I went to bed the other night.  So when alarm started going off, I hit snooze, then snoozed again, and again.  Finally, seeing that it was 7:05, I arose and shook my wife to get her going as well.  "What are you doing, it's only 5 in the morning."


In my rush to win, I had moved things along too quickly and ended up struggling to fall back into my comfortable Circadian rhythm (by the way, I can honestly never spell "rhythm" correctly; in face, I just had to type a few letters into my Chrome address bar to see what popped up).  I eventually fell asleep again, but the whole issue could have been avoided had I simply taken a little extra time to make sure things were all corrected.

So do you see where I'm going here?

Just in case I haven't gotten my point across, let's look at it this way: Javier Baez, or any stud prospect for that matter, is like a microwave burrito.  And while my good buddy Earl McGraw would tell you that that sh*t'll kill ya faster'n a bullet, I love me some burritos.  Anywho, I'm sure you've run into a situation in which you zapped one of those bad boys and almost burned your tongue with the first bite, only to taste the icy disappointment of cool beans with the next.

I'm not alone in advocating for a little more time in the minors(wave), but it seems that many folks are in full on why-the-hell-not mode.  He's proven himself in the minors, they say; he's better than what we've got already, they say.  And, true though that may all be, calling him up now serves no purpose.  It'd be like buying a Ferrari just to drive around your neighborhood.

It seems like every time I say this, people get all up in arms, thinking that I'm saying they should keep him shuttered away for another year or two.  But this isn't like the special-edition Megatron figure that I won't let my kids take out of the box; it's simply a matter of waiting for the proper intersection of service time and readiness.

I've linked to it before, but CI staffer Justin Jabs wrote a great piece about exactly that intersection here.  If the Cubs were to bring Baez to Chicago right out of camp, it would satisfy some of the shiny-object crowd, but it could also result in them waking up at 5am and finding it difficult to fall back asleep.

So you can rest assured that I'm not calling for them to turn Javy into Crash Davis.  I'm simply calling for fans to dig a little deeper and find the restraint to understand that getting a few meaningless at-bats for a last-place team in April and May really aren't worth giving up a year of club control.

So the Cubs don't need Baez yet.  But he'll be up soon enough, and when this team is competitive for years to come, the organization's patience is going to look virtuous.

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Tags: Javy Baez


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  • Yeah, Stay away, Javy. You're gonna screw up the 2015 #1 draft pick chances! :)

  • I agree.. let him mature in the minors. Cubs arent gonna contend this year anyways.. lets let him mature in the minors till the end of the year and let him have at it next year.

    there is a dual bright side to this.. another top ten pick to add another stud to our awesome minor league system. and Javy becomes a better overall product for next year.

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    I actually think he'll be up be mid-season, but that also depends on what is going on at 2B and/or 3B. I figure Barney is going to be moved or demoted no matter what and it appears that Olt will make it at 3B, shoulder willing. If he takes for Cubs, paths to the team are limited. That's assuming a bounce back from Castro, which I foresee. Prospects have been ruined by early exposure, but never from a little extra time in minors.

  • yeah.. sometime after the all star break I am assuming, whatever is clever at that point.. but these young kids are so close. can almost taste it.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Agreed. I think Cubs fans can see the light now, that is the difference.

  • It would be nice to get to a point where we actually talk about our major league players.

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    In reply to Roman F:

    And that when we do, it's not with derision or confusion. The FO has done a good job of selling the hope these kids exude and we've done a good job buying it. But, at least so far, they're proving to be worth the hype. And what is being a Cubs fan all about if not hope and looking forward?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    The time is coming Roman. Sooner now than it seems.

  • Here's all you needed to write:

    "The Cubs refuse to bring up Baez or any other prospect to the majors before 2015 at the earliest because, as with all other sports, it's all about the money and only about the money and the team does not want to worry about big paydays sooner than they would prefer and they need every cent for the inevitable lawsuit Tom Ricketts would have coming his way if he ever grows the stones needed to start renovating Wrigley Field regardless of what the rooftop owners' view of the game". You would have gotten your message through AND saved yourself the trouble of writing about Candy Crush at the same time (though I do understand your addiction to the game. I play Candy Crush quite a bit myself and find myself wanting to play it more all the time)!

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    In reply to Dave1138:

    It's painfully addictive. I see where you're coming from, but I don't think it's solely money-motivated. After all, they signed both Rizzo and Castro to long-term deals rather than let them play out their lower-paying deals. I just figure that if the team's going to suck, there's no reason to call a kid up for meaningless at-bats and psychological assassination. Baseball is perhaps the most mentally-focused sport out there, and the Cubs don't really have the leaders or players to support a young guy in his acclimation to the Bigs. Maybe that's a cop out, but I stand by it. We've all seen athletes who lost the edge, not unlike our buddy Cougar in Top Gun. It would be a tremendous waste to have that happen to the future of the team.

  • I have no time for articles that get all cutesy on other stuff at the expense of the baseball subject at hand. Not my thing. I crave baseball information, insight and opinion--each in as much depth as possible. And this isn't just a preference for articles on baseball or other sports. Get to the freaking point, and stay on point.

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    Michael, I'm glad you read and took the time to comment, but that's just not what I do. This blog has several other guys who get very in-depth on baseball topics, so you would probably enjoy their stuff much more.

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