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- The thesaurus is running out of superlatives for inarguably top Cubs prospect Javier Baez. Last night, he had two hits and a walk, no big deal. The last hit was a walk-off, two-run homer. Again, no big deal. This is just Javy Baez bein’ Javy Baez. After putting up a fantastic .274/.338/.535 line at Daytona (20-years-old, young for the league), Baez has improved in almost every way since coming to Tennessee. The slash line is better – .293/.355/.631 – and the walk rate is much better (8.4% versus 6.2%). The K rate is a little worse (28.7% versus 23.1%), but most of the AA K’s came in his first handful of games. Over the last 15 games, the K rate is just 18.6%. If he had enough at bats to qualify, he’d lead the Southern League – as a 20-year-old shortstop – in OPS by a country mile. This young man … as I said, the superlatives are running dry.
- The game was also a microcosm of what you’re going to get with Baez: in addition to the heroics, he struck out once and made an error. You take the good with the bad, and, right now, the good is so absurdly outweighing the bad that your mom will soon warn you that your face is going to get stuck like that if you don’t stop smiling.
- If you’re looking for the latest odds on a baseball game or two, by the way, check out bettingsites.us.
- (Armando Rivero made his AA debut in the Tennessee game, as well, striking out four over two scoreless innings. It has become an increasingly fair bet that we’ll see him in the bullpen at some point next year.)
- Unsurprisingly, Baez shows up in the latest BP Hot Sheet, together with teammate Christian Villanueva (quietly one of the top hitters in the Southern League over the past few months) and High-A stud Kris Bryant.
- Carlos Villanueva, who admitted that he wasn’t thrilled moving to the bullpen (starters want to start), is the consummate teammate and pro-org guy: “They want to bring [Jake] Arrieta and see what he can do,” Villanueva said, per CSN. “I [have] seen him pitch in Baltimore and here, and he’s got great stuff. So if we can have a guy in here who can be a big contributor next year in that role then we need to see what he [can do].” I’m glad Villanueva is coming back next year, for many reasons. Good guy to have on the team. For his part, although he said he wasn’t thrilled to be pulled from the rotation, he’s fine with going back in the pen and contributing there as best he can.
- Darwin Barney, who spent a lot of time with Ryne Sandberg as his manager, is happy that the Hall of Fame second baseman is getting a chance to manage in the big leagues. In case you missed the news yesterday, Sandberg is taking over as the interim manager of the Phillies.
- Reliever Chang-Yong Lim, who’d been working his way back from Tommy John surgery and looked poised to join the Cubs’ bullpen soon (so that he could be evaluated for the purposes of 2014), has been placed on the disabled list at AAA Iowa, apparently with a shoulder strain. That could run the gamut from very serious to not so serious, so we’ll just have to wait and see. He’d been pitching well.
- Bruce Miles with a range of thoughts, updates, and info here. Ryno stuff, replay stuff, injury stuff. Good stuff.