Top Chicago Cubs prospect Javier Baez began his run at AAA Iowa on Thursday, and he went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. On Friday, it was more of the same, with an 0-4 and two strikeouts.
On Saturday, at least something changed: Baez was ejected. After striking out for the second time in as many at bats, Baez took umbrage at a check swing call, flip his arm in the air, and got the boot. You can read more about the situation from Tommy Birch at the Des Moines Register, including a subsequent dugout kerfuffle with catcher Eli Whiteside (it sounds like a lot of the veterans at AAA are taking Baez under their wing to help instruct him – don’t like to see the hostility, but love to see the outcome). After his ejection, Baez went straight to the batting cages.
On Sunday, Baez was benched to start the game, and here’s what I tweeted:
Javy Baez "gets the day off" after being ejected last night. 0-9 with 6 Ks on the year. Anyone else think he explodes next game?
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) April 6, 2014
Baez ended up pinch hitting in the 7th. Is there any doubt where this is going? BN’er Joseph was there to capture the moment, in case you do have any doubt:
I sure do love hearing the crowd react to a Baez bomb. You can almost hear the dude in the distance saying, “Ahhhh! My windshield!”
Baez wound up getting another at bat, and, according to those who saw it, he actually just missed a follow-up grand slam by about 10 feet. Not that Baez needs more to add to his legend, but, hey, that would have been swell.
Does this mean Baez is back on track, and he’ll start embarrassing the rest of the PCL now? No, not anymore than a few bad games to start the year meant he was ever “off track” in the first place. This is all a process, and there will be adjustments, and adjustments to adjustments. Just enjoy the ride, man.