javier baez featureJavier Baez returned to the big league team today for the first time since the 2014 season ended.

His year has been especially difficult, with the death of his sister, his inability to crack the Major League roster out of Spring Training, his broken finger, and ongoing adjustments with his approach at the plate. But the 22-year-old infielder with all the talent in the world persevered, put together arguably his best professional season, and now comes back to the Cubs.

Although I still suspect he’ll contribute in a variety of ways and in a variety of positions, he’s immediately been inserted into the starting lineup tonight, even against a righty:

Baez’s start comes at the expense of Tommy La Stella and Starlin Castro, who’d been sharing time at second base. Baez unquestionably offers more upside than either of the other two players, but probably more downside risk, as well. We’ll see if this start becomes a regular thing down the stretch. There are questions about the bat as it faces big league pitching, but Baez will likely bring great defense and great base running, if nothing else.

Here’s hoping Javy Baez Day, Part Two is just as successful as Part One, when Baez’s homer won the Cubs a game in Colorado.

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