Signs Point to a Javier Baez Promotion Soon

Signs Point to a Javier Baez Promotion Soon

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.

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.

"(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.

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.

@dabynsky

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Comments

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  • Nice analysis Gunther, I also thought the Bonaficio move to 2B and Barney DFA were two big data points. The AJ Walsh 20 game sample graphs indicate that Jed & Theo might seriously be weighing the options here.

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    With Bryant still playing 3B and Soler coming on like wildfire, I have to think this FO believes that the pair will stick at the positions they are currently playing.

    Bryant becomes our 3B of the future in June of next season. Soler comes up this September and sticks at RF. I just figure Baez slips in at 2B for the next decade or so starting next Spring.

    I see Schwaber LF, Russell SS and Almora CF joining forces at Iowa next Summer. The fun really starts next trade deadline. If we are unable to land a Lester or Shields in free agency this winter, the Cubs probably make a move for a pitcher using one of our big prospects.

    Any way you look at it, the next 12 months are going to be a whole lot of fun!

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    The last data point that assures Baez call-up is when the Cubs trade Bona and/or Valbuena this next week. It open 40 man spot and second base for Baez and Alcantara grabs center.

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    I wanna see Baez up with the big dogs as badly as anybody, but I can't help feeling like it's too soon. He made 2 more errors last night… What's the rush?

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