Doubtful Cubs activate Javier Baez from DL prior to Monday’s home opener
Prior to Thursday’s game with the Diamondbacks and Kyle Schwarber being carted off the field in the second inning, Joe Maddon said it was doubtful Javier Baez would be activated from the disabled list for the Cubs home opener Monday.
Baez was placed on the DL last Sunday (April 3) retroactive to March 25 with a left thumb contusion. Baez jammed his left thumb during a Spring Training game sliding headfirst into first base. Baez did not play in an exhibition game after March 20.
The Cubs felt Baez needed at-bats in extended Spring Training to make up for the playing time he lost in Cactus League games. The Cubs also wanted Baez to get more reps in the outfield, specifically center field and left field, before activating him from the disabled list.
The plan with Baez was to hold him back in Mesa, get at bats and activate him from the DL prior to the home opener Monday against the Reds.
Joe Maddon said Baez’s thumb is “healing on schedule” but he missed a couple of days after being hit in the helmet by a pitch during an extended Spring Training game. Maddon downplayed the severity of the injury. Maddon said a pitch grazed the brim of his helmet and he did not play for precautionary reasons. Baez has not hit since Monday.
Patrick Mooney reported the pitch actually grazed the extended earflap on his helmet.
Maddon told the beat writers he did not think Baez would be ready to play by Monday.
“I doubt it right now,” Maddon said to the beat writers. “Javy’s not really progressed a whole lot. There are still some things going on.”
According to the report from Comcast SportsNet, Baez described getting hit by the pitch “as a scary moment” on his Instagram account.
Kyle Schwarber is expected to be placed on the DL at some point Friday which could force the Cubs to change their plans with Baez.
Saturday (April 9) is the first day Baez is eligible to come off the DL. The Cubs could play Friday’s game with a 24-man roster and activate Baez prior to game three Saturday night at Chase Field.