Less than 24 hours after the news surfaced Javier Baez was taking grounders at third base and he could see time there in the coming weeks, the Cubs decided to speed up the timeline and start Baez at third base Wednesday night.
According to a report from the Des Moines Register, the plan is for Baez to see some time at third base beginning on Wednesday. The speculation is Baez playing third would put him back in the big leagues in the near future with Kris Bryant moving to the outfield.
It does appear the Cubs will leave Starlin Castro at shortstop and Addison Russell at second base.
Mark Gonzales and Jesse Rogers talked to Kris Bryant prior to Wednesday’s game in Miami. The Cubs told Bryant that Javier Baez “would be moved around and not to worry about anything.” Bryant is receptive to playing left field or any position on the diamond. Bryant played center and right field in college and made his first start in left field, outside of the Cactus League, on Tuesday night.
With Jorge Soler expected to miss three to six weeks, if Bryant is going to see time in the outfield it could be the time to see how he can handle right field. Bryant has the arm for the position and some within the game feel he would be a better fit defensively in right field than in left field.
What is being lost in what position Javier Baez will play when the Cubs recall him is the fact he has made the necessary adjustments to be part of the conversation again. Baez has cut down on his leg kick and moved closer to the plate.
Entering play Wednesday, Javier Baez was hitting .325/.397/.550 with six doubles and seven home runs for a .947 OPS. Baez has walked 10 times with 33 strikeouts in 32 games. Baez has hit safely in each of his last five games (11-for-22 with two doubles, two home runs, one walk and five strikeouts).