Without the ability to watch yesterday’s game, it’s brutal as a fan to hear descriptions and read phrases like “hobbled into second base,” “grabbed at the back of his leg,” and “left with the trainer.”
That’s what we got yesterday when Javy Baez departed the game after hitting a double, but we want so much more in that moment. How did he look? Did he try to stay in the game? Was he laughing? Was he crying like he knows his season is over??? Did Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant have to fashion a stretcher out of baseball bats and gloves and carry him off the field?!?!?!? WHAT IS HAPPENING!?!?
Fortunately, that window has passed, and we now know as much as we can, at least in the immediate aftermath of the injury.
“I felt a cramp,” Baez told Cubs.com after the game. “After I passed first base, [my leg] went back to normal. When I stopped, I felt the cramp. Obviously, [manager Joe Maddon] didn’t want me to stay in the game. I’m completely fine, 100 percent. I got some treatment. The [athletic] trainers were all over it, and everything is fine.”
To be sure, there is a fine line between what feels to a player like a cramp (brought on by dehydration, and “cured” with a little hydration and physical treatment) and what feels to a player like a mild strain. And sometimes that distinction is not clear until the next day (or beyond), when things don’t clear up as you’d expect. In this case, though, it doesn’t sound like there are lingering doubts about whether there’s an injury here.
I’d tentatively expect Baez to take the day off, and get back out there at some point this weekend. Hopefully well rested and well hydrated, and maybe playing in a televised game, just in case.