Javier Baez stepped to the plate in the 12th inning Tuesday night 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and with one swing of the bat he not only gave the Cubs the lead, but he put his name in the history books.
Javier Baez became the first player in the history of the Cubs franchise to hit an extra inning home run in his Major League debut and the first player since Miguel Cabrera in 2003 to hit a home run in his big league debut. Cabrera was 0-for-4 on June 30, 2003 before he hit a walk-off homer in the 11th inning. Baez became the fourth player to give his team a lead with a home run in extra innings in his big league debut. Baez joined Billy Parker (1971), Kent Hrbek (1981) and Miguel Cabrera (2003) as the only four players to accomplish the feat.
In a conference call with the beat writers, Theo Epstein said prior to Tuesday’s game that Javier Baez will play second base on a regular basis over the next two months with Arismendy Alcantara seeing a majority of his time in centerfield. Epstein also did not rule out Baez seeing time at other positions over the team’s last 50-plus games. The Cubs have not decided what position Baez will play long term, but his position flexibility gives the Cubs options down the road.
Epstein said Baez is “athletic enough, gifted enough and has good enough baseball instincts and is in tune with the game enough to play a number of positions.”
The Cubs decided to call-up Baez with two months left in the season in order for him to get grasp of what it is like playing in the majors and in turn Baez would have a winter to “take it all in and start to make any adjustments if necessary.”
Before discussing Baez’s promotion, Theo Epstein gave a hat tip Tom Ricketts, Jim Hendry, Tim Wilken, Tom Clark and others, according to Bruce Miles, for drafting and signing Baez in 2011.
News and Notes
Javier Baez was given a choice of No. 9 or No. 27, he chose the No. 9 because that is the number he wore with Double-A Tennessee.
Carlos Villanueva had the talk with Javier Baez and gave him advice … don’t be late, don’t forget refreshments for the team bus and don’t get noticed for the wrong reasons.
Kyuji Fujikawa was in Denver with the Cubs Tuesday but the team did not activate him from the 60-day DL. The Cubs are expected to make a move to add a reliever to the bullpen at some point prior to Wednesday’s game. According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Fujikawa told the Cubs he is ready to go. Will Fujikawa be activated? If he is, the front office will have to open a spot on the 40-man roster as well.
Patrick Mooney asked the question, when’s Kris Bryant getting here?
Javier Baez became the 106th different player to appear in a Cubs uniform during the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer Era. The most players used by a single team during the same span (2012-2014).
There is not a shortstop controversy and Starlin Castro knows Javier Baez can make an immediate impact according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
Jorge Soler made Baseball America’s All-Prospect Team for July.
According to Nathan Baliva, Tim Wilken and Jason McLeod were in attendance Tuesday to watcher the Cougars and Chiefs in Peoria.
The Cubs starting lineup Tuesday night featured four players born in the 90s: Starlin Castro (1990), Junior Lake (1990), Arismendy Alcantara (1991) and Javier Baez (1992). And Baez is the youngest player in the National League, second youngest in the majors (Rangers’ Rougned Odor, 1994).
According to a report from USA Today, the search for the successor to Commissioner Bud Selig is down to three candidates and the owners will vote on Aug. 14, at the quarterly owners’ meetings in Baltimore, on who will be baseball’s next commissioner. The new commissioner must receive approval from 23 of the 30 owners.
Bob Nightengale reported Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer, Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive vice president of business and Tom Werner, chairman of the Boston Red Sox, are the three finalists.
This Day In Cubstory
2007 – Cubs released Wade Miller
2004 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Rafael Dolis
1998 – Jack Brickhouse passed away at the age of 82. Brickhouse was the voice of the Cubs from 1941-1981. Hey! Hey!
1988 – Goose Gossage became the second player in big league history (Rollie Fingers) to record 300 career saves when he faced one batter and recorded the out in the Cubs 7-4 victory over the Phillies at Wrigley Field.
1981 – National League owners agreed to the $20.5 million sale of the Cubs to the Tribune Company. The sale was finalized three weeks later when Bill Wrigley and the stockholders approved the sale of the team.
1978 – Cubs traded Larry Anderson to the Phillies for Davey Johnson
1959 – Billy Williams made his Cubs debut and went 0-for-4 with a RBI in a Cubs 4-2 victory over the Phillies at Wrigley Field
1955 – Ron Davis, born
1934 – Cubs signed free agent Bob O’Farrell
1919 – Cubs lost 2-0 to the Braves after Boston’s pitcher, Ray Keating, hit a fly ball to center that bounced through a hole in the wire fence for a home run. Cubs collected three hits, Grover Cleveland Alexander was hung with the loss.
1894 – Bill Dahlen extended his hitting streak to 42 games with two hits in a 12-9 victory over the Reds at West Side Grounds.
1890 – Cy Young made his major league debut and was credited with the win over the Colts (Cubs) at West Side Grounds
1884 – Cap Anson hit three home runs in a 13-4 victory over Cleveland at Lakefront Park that gave him five home runs in two days. Anson established the franchise record for number of homers in a two day period that was equaled by Billy Williams in 1968 and Dave Kingman in 1979.