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javier baez defenseAt 11-7, the Chicago Cubs are on pace to win 99 games this year. That’d be OK.

  • Javier Baez is playing in extended Spring Training games (he got a couple at bats yesterday as the day, per Arizona Phil), and Theo Epstein told the media that it would likely be days, rather than weeks, before Baez was back with the Iowa Cubs. You can and should read his comments – or watch the video – here at the Tribune. There is no plan to move Baez defensively at this time, so he’ll continue primarily playing second base, mixing in some time at shortstop. If you want to try and read into that, you could say it suggests something about Addison Russell’s future position (as in, it isn’t second base), but I wouldn’t quite get that far. For now, the focus is about getting Baez on track offensively with some of the approach and swing changes he needs to work on (as well as simply getting back into the flow after missing some time, and hopefully finding sanctuary in baseball after losing his sister). Fitting in the pieces and worrying about positions can come much later down the road.
  • Joe Maddon sees Jorge Soler as chasing a little more lately, and just wants to see him start accepting his walks again (CSN, Cubs.com). Something Soler appears to be adjusting to, as well, is the sheer cold of the Midwest – especially the wind at Wrigley – in April.
  • Just to emphasize it: the Cubs have a disco party in the clubhouse after every win (Cubs.com). I’m picturing a GIF of the Cubs slapping fives on the field after a win, and then a disco ball drops into the frame, and the lights start going. I wish I had better art skillz.
  • Theo Epstein likes the identity the Cubs are creating for themselves (Daily Herald).
  • Mauricio Rubio, Jr. has an extensive look at the first week of Kris Bryant in the big leagues – the things we expected, and the things we didn’t.
  • If you missed it, Michael looked at the early defensive returns for the Cubs in the outfield late last night. Some surprising results so far.
  • Not that the baseball impact is of relative consequence in this situation, but it’s a disturbing time in Baltimore:

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