Cubs to Discuss Possible Position Change for Javier Baez

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are going to discuss this off-season where Javier Baez is going to play in the field moving forward. The Cubs have publicly stated that Starlin Castro is their shortstop and that Javier Baez would remain at short until he gets closer to the big leagues and forces them to look at moving him to another position.

Jason McLeod told Jesse Rogers on Wednesday, “That is something this offseason we’re going to have to get together as an organization and discuss it. First of all where is he going to play this winter and then do we incorporate third base, second base, some other positions for him just so he has the experience? I’m sure as we get into spring training next year you’ll see him taking ground balls at other positions just to see what it looks like.”

McLeod indicated this “starts to happen when a guy gets into Double-A and now you’re thinking he might be within a year of arriving in the Major Leagues.”

Jesse Rogers reported that Javier Baez could be at Triple-A Iowa soon. After a slow start with the Smokies, Baez has shown a lot of improvement at the Double-A level. In 29 games, Baez is hitting .273/.333/.612/.945 with eight doubles and 11 home runs. But in the last 10 games, Baez is 16-for-44 with five doubles, three home runs, three walks and 13 strikeouts (.364/.429/.682/1.110).

Jason McLeod said, “Sometimes it is good to get a guy exposure to a higher level that you think he’s going to start at next year.” It would not be unusual to see the Cubs promote Baez to Iowa then let him play in the postseason with the Smokies. Tennessee is currently one-half game ahead of the Birmingham Barons for first place in the division.

Jason McLeod also said on Wednesday that other players will receive promotions in the next week to 10 days “just to give guys experience at a certain level going into the offseason.”

The Cubs promoted second-round pick, LHP Rob Zastryzny to the Kane County Cougars on Wednesday. And Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut on Thursday night.

Scott Baker

Rain in Florida cancelled three possible rehab starts for Scott Baker and the Cubs have decided for him to throw bullpen sessions for the next week. The Cubs will send him out for another 30-day rehab stint on August 14.

The Cubs are still hopeful that Baker will be able to join the Major League rotation at some point in September.

Scott Baker has made four rehab starts (three with Kane County, one with Daytona) with mixed results. Baker is still having trouble with his command and has yet to let go and just pitch, which is perfectly understandable. Baker has given up 20 hits with eight walks and seven strikeouts in 12 innings.

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  • Theboardrider

    Exciting news! Could a dominant spring force the FO to consider Baez in Chicago next year? I like the plan of getting time at each level but I believe a player should dictate where he plays. It’s looking like Baez is too good for AA.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I hope not his strike out rate is WAY too high. You can pretty much double that rate at the majors as the pitching is much better. He still needs seasoning IMO. I do like his advancement. He just needs to cut down on the strikeout rate A LOT. I would hate to see what happened to BJAX happen to him.

      • John_CC

        While I mostly agree and still believe Baez won’t be a full-time starter on the Cubs till next August-September, comparing him to Brett Jackson is just not fair!

  • Steve Baier

    I’m going to the I-Cubs game vs Memphis on the 23rd, would love to see him then!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I think the writing is on the wall with Scott Baker’s future.

    • John_CC

      What does it say? I can’t read it.

  • Brp921

    With Kris Bryant looking like he may be on the fast track to the big leagues, if they feel he can stick at third, then I think Baez or Castro should be moved to second. Right now I would think Castro has the better glove at short. That could change as Baez progresses. if they don’t feel Bryant can handle third in the future then I’d put Baez at third and Bryant in left field.

    • John_CC

      My gut feeling (which doesn’t mean much) is the latter. Bryant in LF with Baez at 3B. That is if Castro sticks around. If Starlin doesn’t get back on track in a big way next spring I don’t he will be much of road block to Baez.

      But I digress. IF Baez can play 3B, and reports are that he has an incredible instincts and amazing arm so could easily handle it, Bryant in LF makes a ton of sense with Soler projected to take RF.

      I try not to get ahead of myself in projecting the Cubs, to much history, but the POTENTIAL looks bright. Very bright.

  • 07GreyDigger

    I say you put him at a variety of positions and see which one he takes to the best. What a great problem to have eh?