Day Three of Javy Baez’s rehab at Arizona went well, with the Cubs infielder going 2-3 with a double and a walk. Baez DH’d, because his timing at the plate is the most important thing right now rather than playing defensively, where I’d imagine there’s less concern about a lull in game action.
So far, so good for Baez, who appears healthy and is probably just about ready to return to the Iowa Cubs. Word last week was that he could be back at some point in this coming week if all went well in Arizona.
From there, it’ll be interesting to see what position he’s playing. My guess is that, early on, he’ll be at a familiar position – second or short – but may eventually see time at other positions. If he’s to help the Cubs down the stretch, he may have to be a little versatile in where he plays (unless the Cubs decide it’s time to make a more permanent switch at a particular position … but we’ll get there when we get there).
All of this will take a little while, so, assuming Baez is not traded by Friday, I’d imagine he’d need at least a week or two at Iowa for the organization to be comfortable bringing him back up to the big leagues … if that’s even the plan. It’s been such an up-and-down year for Baez, and all for reasons that have nothing to do with his actual performance – which has been impressive when he’s been on the field. How that impacts the way the Cubs view him as a contributor down the stretch (and the timing) is a little tough to predict.
Also, the tiniest of samples at the lowest level of competition, but it’s fun: through 12 plate appearances with the AZL Cubs, Baez has yet to strike out.