Javier Baez made his unfortunately delayed debut for the Iowa Cubs last night, batting third and playing second base. He finished the game one for six with a double and three strikeouts. He also turned a double play.
Given that this was his first game in a few weeks, the results are pretty meaningless. Anyone would need a few games to shake off any rust and to get comfortable again, so I don’t expect to see Baez look like he is in mid-season form right away. What I do expect, though, is that he will work his way back to the form he showed in Iowa prior to his promotion last summer. We often forget it because of his major league struggles, but Baez rebounded very nicely from a rough start in Triple A and actually drove his season strikeout rate just under 30% prior to his promotion.
I doubt the Cubs will rush Baez back to the majors, but I doubt they will artificially delay him either. A future as a .230/.290/.450 sort of player is very much within in his range, even with his proclivity towards strikeouts, and that line combined with his defense and base running would make a valuable contributor to the Cubs. I sincerely doubt that Maddon would turn down another flexible, potential multi-position guy with power once the development staff decides he’s ready.
In a week or so we’ll check back on Baez again, see how he looks, and maybe start to look at the calendar and possible promotion scenarios.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The Cubs got some great bullpen work in this thirteen inning game, but they lost it 4-2.
Tennessee – Tennessee rallied in the late innings but could not find enough runs. They lost 5-3.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans lost in Wilmington 6-4.
South Bend – The Cubs pulled over .500 with this 6-3 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Carlos Pimentel allowed a run on a hit and 2 walks while striking out 3 in his 6 innings on the mound.
- [Iowa] And then the bullpen took over. Scoreless innings were provided by Joe Ortiz (2 IP), Blake Cooper (1 IP), and Andres Santiago (2 IP). Yoanner Negrin gave up one run just after Pimentel left, and Michael Wagner gave up 2 in the final inning.
- [Iowa] Other than the double by Baez, a Christian Villanueva homer was the only extra base hit for the Cubs. Villanueva also walked and finished 2 for 4.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli also had a 2 hit game.
- [Tennessee] When Rob Zastryzny exited after just 3 batters in the second (currently no word on any reason), so Jeffry Antigua was pressed into extended service as a reliever. Over 4 innings he allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk while striking out one.
- [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann picked up the second multi-hit game of his short Double A career. He finished this game 2 for 5.
- [Tennessee] Pin-Chieh Chen doubled twice and walked as part of his 2 for 3 game.
- [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber doubled and walked to finish 1 for 3 as the DH in this one.
- [Myrtle Beach] Daury Torrez allowed 2 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings while striking out one.
- [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis tripled (his first) for his one hit in this game.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jacob Rogers doubled and finished 2 for 4. Trey Martin also doubled in this one.
- [South Bend] The Cubs enjoyed some good pitching. Erick Leal started things off with 5 innings of 2 runs, 6 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts. Ryan McNeil followed that up with one inning in which he allowed a run, and then gave the ball to Francisco Carrillo. Carrillo finished with 3 innings of one hit ball while striking out 3.
- [South Bend] Gleyber Torres pushed his batting average up to .352 with this 4 for 5 game that featured his 3rd double. He also stole his 7th base of the season.
- [South Bend] Jason Vosler doubled and finished 2 for 5. Justin Marra also came up with 2 hits.
- In a rarity even for the minor league, the Iowa Cubs used 3 catchers last night. Taylor Teagarden started, was followed by Rafael Lopez, and then by Taylor Davis.
- In the thirteenth inning the Iowa Cubs needed a pinch hitter, so they brought in Eric Jokisch. Jokisch actually hit .161 for Iowa last summer, including a double, but he is no Travis Wood. And, unfortunately, he struck out.