I am wrong about a lot of things when it comes to baseball, but occasionally I do manage to get a few things right. Apparently I will be proven right in a statement I made nearly a month ago, when I claimed that Jorge Soler should be a September call-up.
Javier Baez's fate this year is something that I've gone back and forth on throughout the season. Initially, Baez looked to be up as soon as he gained an extra year of control, but early season struggles put that plan on hold.
The struggles continued late enough that it seemed as though the Cubs might opt to have Baez come up next season with Kris Bryant, linking the two together in yet another way.
There are a variety of roster manipulations that would occur as a result of keeping Javier Baez down in the minors, and John Arguello did a better job of explaining them than I ever did. But perhaps we sometimes tend to over-think things and forget that development of player is still paramount.
Always remember that player development comes in all shapes/forms and is typically not linear. Players are unique, with no magic formula.
— Chris Mellen (@ChrisMellen) July 23, 2014
Despite accusations to the contrary, the front office is not dogmatic when it comes to player development.
It has been stated numerous times that each player has specific development goals and plans tailored to their needs. There is no mythic number of plate appearances or at bats at each level that determines whether a player is ready or not. This is why Jorge Soler and Javier Baez might be promoted while Kris Bryant stays home in September.
The tea leaves seem to be pointing to that outcome with the following developments.
Pevey said as far as he knows, Bryant is still the man at third. Olt will be at first. What that means for everyone else, we'll know later.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) July 23, 2014
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) July 22, 2014
"(He'll play there) the majority of the time," Iowa manager Marty Pevey said.
Position changes with big time prospects in the Cubs system is a huge deal and has been consistently linked to player promotions during this regime's tenure. Arismendy Alcantara's movement around the diamond in Iowa preceded his call up. As did Javier Baez's promotion to Tennessee occur with second base being opened for Alcantara in the first place.
Jed Hoyer feigned the move was about flexibility, but this front office has a history of leaving players at the most difficult position until a move is needed. Why does Javier Baez need to move now?
Also some have suggested that the move of Baez to second base is just about flexibility. That makes sense until you analyze what the Cubs have done up to this point. If the focus was on making the Cubs top prospects as flexible as possible why hasn't Alcantara and Baez being switching positions on a regular basis since they were teamed up in the middle of last season? Instead, Baez has been planted at SS until this shift was made. It means something that Baez has been moved.
Reading the tea leaves at the time I posited that it might be clearing the way for Addison Russell to move up to Iowa. However, the use of Arismendy Alcantara casts some doubt on that. The DFA of Barney would seem to have open up 2B, Alcantara's "natural" position, up, but this is the lineup arrangement for the second straight day.
#Cubs lineup: Bonifacio 2B, Alcantara CF, Riz 1B, Castro SS, Coghlan LF, Valbuena 3B, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Wada P
— WorldSeriesDreaming (@WSDreaming_Cubs) July 23, 2014
Javier Baez 2-for-3 with a double & two walks today. After starting .142/.229/.255, he's .303/.355/.568 in his last 63 games. He's adjusted.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) July 23, 2014
— Alex Walsh (@ajwalsh08) July 19, 2014
— Alex Walsh (@ajwalsh08) July 19, 2014
Alcantara playing CF while Bonifacio is playing 2B for the second straight day. That is odd to say the least given the fact that Bonifacio has far more experience playing CF. It could be a showcase for Bonifacio given the number of contenders that have need at 2B, but teams know what Bonifacio is by this point in time.
Alcantara might also see plenty of time at 2B in the future, but it is odd that Renteria has "chosen" to set up the defensive assignments this way again.
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