After yesterday’s post lauding the magic of Javier Baez, you might expect some different news today. If you were expecting something different, you weren’t watching the Chicago Cubs’ game against the Kansas City Royals yesterday. Guess what? Baez hit two more home runs. If you’re interested in seeing those home runs, there’s a video highlight on this page. But young Mr. Baez will soon be headed back to minor league camp, so we have to enjoy him while we can.
“The last week, it seemed like he turned into a different kid, the way he went about things, his at-bats,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “I think that inner cockiness will always be something that’s a huge asset for any good player. People who play in the big leagues, there’s always an edge to them, one way or the other. He’s got that edge. He wants to be that guy. I think he got comfortable as big league camp went on in the environment and with the guys. We all know it’s there.”
Also to be counted among Baez’s fans is Alfonso Soriano.
“It’s unbelievable,” teammate Alfonso Soriano said. “Two home runs yesterday, two more today. Bombs. It’s very impressive.”
When will he be in Chicago?
“There’s no rush,” split-squad manager Jamie Quirk said after the game. “Some guys are special. His talents will take him as quickly as he needs to be, but there is no rush.
“Obviously that’s why he was drafted where he was, and hopefully he keeps doing what he’s doing. He’s pretty special.”
The other intriguing story in camp continues to be Ian Stewart. It seems like Dale Sveum’s patience with him is once again running thin.
Infielder Luis Valbuena will most likely be the Cubs opening day third baseman if Stewart isn’t ready to start. Stewart said on Friday that he thinks he will be ready to claim his position on the team by opening day.
“I am glad he feels that way,” Sveum said. “I can’t share anything because I haven’t seen him play. Confidence and feeling the best you can mentally has a lot to do with people’s struggles at the plate. When you overcome some off those things that is a really, really good sign. Right now I can’t say that because he hasn’t played any games.”
I’d like to thank Ian Stewart for continuing to be a source of quotes for these posts.