Rick Renteria said Saturday that Javier Baez will play second base either Monday or Tuesday. The Cubs have two games Monday, one in Phoenix against the Athletics and they host the Angels at Cubs Park. The team travels back to Surprise to take on the Rangers under the lights Tuesday night.
Renteria said Baez’s work at second base during practice “has been real good” and he does not think Baez will have any problems moving to the other side of the bag. Baez said he is feeling more comfortable at second base and he thinks a transition to second base would be easier for him.
Darwin Barney is expected to start at shortstop in the game Javier Baez makes his spring debut at second base.
Jake Arrieta will throw his first live BP session on Sunday according to multiple reports. The Cubs have not said when Arrieta might appear in a Cactus League game. But with less than two weeks of practice games left, it is highly unlikely that Arrieta will begin the season on the active roster. The fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs right now with Carlos Villanueva, Chris Rusin and James McDonald the leading candidates for the last spot in Rick Renteria’s Opening Day rotation.
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs and Tigers have had discussions about a deal for Nate Schierholtz. Jon Paul Morosi reported last week that it was unclear if Detroit was interested in Schierholtz. Morosi indicated that Schierholtz could be available with Ryan Kalish an option for the Cubs to fill his roster spot. Levine added the Cubs have talked to Dombrowski about their other left-handed hitting outfielder, Ryan Sweeney, as well.
The Cubs would want pitching in return for Nate Schierholtz. It is doubtful the Cubs could pry Rick Porcello away from the Tigers for Schierholtz, but could a Casey Crosby be available in a deal for Nate Schierholtz?
The Cubs are not in a rush to deal Schierholtz and might want to hold onto him until the July deadline.
Schierholtz should be one of many players traded around the July 31 deadline. Jose Veras, Carlos Villanueva and Jason Hammel figure to be dealt as well for long term assets.
The Cubs reassigned Kyle Hendricks to minor league camp Saturday and reduced the spring roster to 53 players in the process. The Cubs optioned Dallas Beeler to Triple-A Iowa on Friday and assigned Marcus Hatley to minor league camp.
Kyle Hendricks, Eric Jokisch and Dallas Beeler should be the first three pitchers in Iowa’s Opening Day rotation followed by Carlos Pimentel.
The Cubs have optioned the following players down to the minors: RHP Dallas Beeler (AAA), Arismendy Alcantara (AAA), Matt Szczur (AAA), Logan Watkins (AAA) and Jorge Soler (AA).
Kyle Hendricks, Marcus Hatley, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Carlos Pimentel, Jeudy Valdez and Eric Jokisch have been reassigned to minor league camp.
The Cubs have cut 13 players from the spring roster.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Jim Bowden, the Cubs and Dodgers have not had a conversation yet about a deal for Darwin Barney.