Cubs Called Up Javier Baez to The Show, Set to Make Big League Debut Tuesday

As the headlines and reports stated Monday afternoon, It’s Javy Time.

Javier Baez has been called up to the big leagues and is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday night in Denver when the Cubs open the three-game series against the Rockies. Javier Baez will reportedly start at second base, with Starlin Castro at shortstop and Arismendy Alcantara in centerfield. And Anthony Rizzo, who was supposed to get a day off Tuesday, figures to be part of the starting eight behind Travis Wood.

The front office has not addressed its plans for Javier Baez for the next two months. But Baez is expected to be in the starting lineup on a daily basis at his new position, second base. The Cubs have 52 games remaining on the schedule and those 200 at bats will help continue Baez’s development.

The Cubs have not announced the corresponding roster move to add Javier Baez to the active roster. The 40-man roster officially stands at 39 players, so there is a spot on the reserve roster for his contract to be selected from Triple-A Iowa. But a roster move will have to be made to place him on the active roster.

Javier Baez has shown steady improvement in the field, at the plate and with his work ethic this season. And he has made a smooth transition to second base while still producing at the plate. In 59 at bats as a second baseman, Baez hit .339/.394/.763 with seven home runs.

PrintThe Cubs see Javier Baez as a second baseman, not a third baseman, as Theo Epstein pointed out to Jim Bowden last week.

“We already started exposing Javy [Javier Baez] to second base. Coming out of the All-Star break we’ve played him about eight out of 10 games at second base,” Epstein said. “He got a little exposure to third base in the Fall League a couple of years ago. We will probably see him, if he does move off shortstop, we see him more as a second baseman currently than as a third baseman. He’s made a seamless transition over there. Good shortstops can go elsewhere in the infield and be an impact defender and that’s what Javy has shown so far. But we are keeping him at short as well so that he doesn’t lose that. Having too many shortstops is never a problem. They are the best athletes and the best defenders. We will find spots for all of these guys.”

Javier Baez will have growing pains, especially early in his big league career, and those struggles at the plate could last for the remainder of this season. Every time Baez has been promoted, he has been exposed at the new level until he has a chance to figure things out and make his adjustments.

David Kaplan recently spoke with scouts about the top prospects in the Cubs system. Kaplan was told that Baez might have “the most upside of any of the Cubs prospects” and he could be “one of the best players in the game but he has to cut down his high strikeout rate, and that is going to take him time at the big league level. His floor is lower than any other elite prospect in the Cubs system but it is also higher.”

According to the report from, before Marty Pevey told Baez he was on his way to the majors, Pevey “called Baez to his hotel room early Monday in Omaha and started to tell Baez he wanted to work on some of his footwork around second base.” Baez reportedly had a puzzled look on his face and asked in the room? Baez was still half a sleep but woke up quickly when Pevey told him he was on his way to The Show.

Starlin Castro was hoping Sunday that Baez would be called up soon and according to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the reaction in the Cubs clubhouse to his promotion will be … About Time.

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  • TheWrongGuy

    I am happy to see him get the call to the show!

    I am also sad he may lose out next season….

    Determining rookie status:
    “A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).”

    Yet, Neil you stated it best:

    “Javier Baez will have growing pains, especially early in his big league career, and those struggles at the plate could last for the remainder of this season. Every time Baez has been promoted, he has been exposed at the new level until he has a chance to figure things out and make his adjustments.”

    Good stuff and great reporting Neil!

    • John_CC

      I’d much rather get him prepared this season to succeed for a full next season, than worry about his chance at a ROY trophy. That should be a minor, personal loss in the grand scheme of things.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I agree.
        My thought was the same as a whole.
        Also with his call-up JHoyer has also stated previously that one of the big prospects may be traded for top caliber arms. 2 teams in the NL east have been linked to the CUBS previously and could potentially make a deal with the CUBS, Nats and “fish”. Nats have Lucas Giolito and Taylor Jordan, and “fish” have Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino. I was thinking this only because of the logjam of infield prospects, and the need for top caliber arms.

    • stu_studdly

      So instead Kris Bryant or Soler goes for Rookie of the Year in 2015. It’s a good problem to have.

  • The Dude Abides

    So for 2014 for Baez in Chicago –

    Will he have more HR’s, SB’s or BB’s this season???

    Will his hits, BB’s, SB’s & HR’s combined be more than his K’s for the season???

  • BigJonLilJon

    If I was Ricky, I’d tell him every time there is a 2 strike count he needs to choke up on the bat and shorten his swing. Each times doesn’t… $500 fine. Might encourage him to just make contact and cut down the K’s

    • redlarczykg

      Agreed! Why doesn’t the batting coach and manger have the authority to tell a player, “you’re going to adjust your swing with 2 strikes”? Look how Rizzo has upped his game by doing that. Riz is hitting with more power than last year, but adjusts with 2 strikes. A basic fundamental that should be taught in little league. And don’t get me started on going with the pitch instead of trying to pull everything.

      • Tony_H

        Have seen the video of the opposite field HR Baez hit in the Futures game?

        • redlarczykg

          I saw it. My comment on adjusting your swing with 2 strikes and going with the pitch was meant as a general complaint about most major leaguers. If Baez is as smart a player as they say, he’ll learn to do it.
          From what I have been reading, he really needs to work on being willing to sign some autographs. It comes with fame.

          • Tony_H

            I’ve heard nothing but good things about Baez so far with his interactions with fans. There will always be a fan who thinks they were snubbed but don’t realize that the player needed to be somewhere.

          • BillyFinT

            It took J Bruce (Cincy) 3 or 4 years in the Big league to get that right for him. Ba-ez! will adjust if he’s as advertised. He needs playing time here, that’s all.

      • Tom U

        It all has to do with three words: “Free Agency” and “Arbitration”.

        • TheWrongGuy

          With what you said TomU, I think you meant 4 words. I think you meant “Show me the Money”

          I hope you like the reference. :)

  • Tom U

    In other news, RHP Jake Stinnett, the 2014 second round pick, had his professional debut last night. Stinnett went 0.2 IP with no runs.

  • BillyFinT

    Javy Time doesn’t ring. How about Ba-ez Ouha!

    Sound: Ba Yea! Hoo Ha! Keeping the Latino taste in there. Something like that.

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    What jersey # will he get?