According to a report from the Sun-Times, Javier Baez has been told he will be on the Cubs Opening Day roster. Gordon Wittenmyer spoke with Baez and confirmed what the second baseman told him with a team source.
The Cubs have not made an announcement on where Javier Baez will begin the season, but this was expected after Joe Maddon’s comments over the weekend and Bruce Levine’s report the Cubs changed their mind on Baez and he would likely be with the team on Opening Night against the Cardinals.
Wittenmyer pointed to Baez’s defense as being the deciding factor on starting the season with him as the team’s starting second baseman. Wittenmyer mentioned that the Cubs could send him down to Triple-A if he doesn’t show any improvement at the plate once the weather warms up.
The report from the Sun-Times also pointed to Baez having the ability to drive the ball “through the April wind and chill of Wrigley Field” as helping his case over other options at second base that include Arismendy Alcantara and Tommy La Stella.
Joe Maddon told the beat writers Tuesday that he’s not concerned about Baez’s strikeouts “right now” while pointing out that other aspects of Baez’s game makes him “one of the best young players” Maddon has seen.
Maddon talked up run prevention Tuesday and how important it is to the pitching staff and overall success of the team not to give the other team extra outs.
And Baez told the Sun-Times he is “ready for Chicago and just to help the team.”
Javier Baez is 5-for-39 in 13 games this spring with one home run, three walks and 14 strikeouts … all three walks have come in the last four games he’s played in.