We May See David Bote Pick Up a Start at Shortstop Soon to Give Javy Baez a Break

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We May See David Bote Pick Up a Start at Shortstop Soon to Give Javy Baez a Break

Chicago Cubs

When Addison Russell is around and starting at shortstop, there’s no question about the back-up shortstop – it’s Javy Baez.

But with Russell on the disabled list and Baez pressed into nightly duty at shortstop, it’s less clear what will happen when Baez needs a blow. It could be that the Cubs will try to add a defense-first, back-up infielder type via waivers in the coming days. Or the Cubs could cross their fingers on Baez for the next four days, and simply bring up someone like Mike Freeman when rosters expand to the full 40-man on September 1.

I tend to think it’s more likely, however, that if the Cubs needed get start someone at shortstop in the next few days, other than Baez, it would probably just be David Bote. Although he has played only at third and second base in the big leagues (and a couple innings at first base), Bote worked in at shortstop for 15 games this year Iowa.

He’s not Russell or Baez out there, but he has certainly looked good defensively after third base. And since it would just be a one-day breather? Well, it’s either him or Ben Zobrist.

And Bote’s time might be coming:

The Cubs are in the middle of a long stretch of break-less baseball, with a day game after a night game coming tomorrow. So that might be a good spot to give Baez a break, or maybe tonight.

Based on the season he’s had so far, I fully expect Bote to be inserted at shortstop and then finish a game with a diving stop that turns into an unbelievable triple play.

More broadly speaking, this does highlight how the Cubs will need Addison Russell to return healthily in September, if for no other reason than you have to have someone else capable of playing quality shortstop besides Baez. Bote might be fine for a one-game fill-in, but heaven forbid something would happen to Baez, especially if – as Maddon indicates – there’s fatigue there.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.