After more than two years of asking when Javier Baez would play a position other than shortstop, the Cubs moved Baez across the bag to second base for Thursday night’s game in Round Rock. Baez saw a little time at second base in Spring Training and had been working out at second prior to games, but the Cubs had not lined him up in a regular season game at second base until Thursday.
Javier Baez said during Iowa’s pre-game show that second base feels a little weird but he has played there before and will get used to it if that is where the Cubs want him to play. Baez is willing to do what is best for his team to win games. Baez played 286 games at shortstop in the minors over four seasons.
The Cubs brass was expected to meet during the All-Star break to talk about possible position changes in the minor league system. The Cubs have not said how often Javier Baez will play second base, but Theo Epstein did indicate last month that the team planned to expose Baez to second base soon after the season began, but when he got off to a rough start at the plate, they wanted him to focus on getting on track offensively before learning a new position.
Javier Baez was part of three double plays for the I-Cubs on Thursday night. Baez started two double plays (4-3, 4-6-3) and was the pivot man on the third (6-4-3). Baez did not look uncomfortable in the field. And Baez recorded the last out of the game, a bouncer off the bat of Jared Hoying.
During his weekly segment on the Kap & Haugh Show (87.7 The Game) last Friday, Jed Hoyer indicated the front office was having discussions about possible position changes.
“That is something we’ve been discussing a lot internally. When is the right time to move guys around and that is something that we’ll probably spend a lot of time on over the next few days and over the All-Star break because we do need to expose guys to different positions,” Hoyer said. “I think is important to stay at their natural position for as long as we can, but like I mentioned with Alcantara, I do think it makes practical sense to move him around and I think we’ll probably do that with some of the other guys as well.”
The Cubs plan for Arismendy Alcantara to see more playing time in centerfield. The front office has not said when or if Alcantara will be sent back to Iowa. Before the series with the Braves, the Cubs planned to send Alcantara back to Iowa after the three-game series in Arizona.
Jason McLeod told ESPN Chicago less than 10 days ago it was not time for Kris Bryant to be moved to the outfield. According to a report from Jim Bowden, most scouts feel the Cubs will move Bryant to right field next season. As for Javier Baez, Bowden reported Wednesday it was just a matter of time before the Cubs moved Baez to either second base or third base.