Results tagged ‘ Javier Baez ’

1000 Words: Winning in style

On Tuesday, the Cubs punched their ticket to the National League Championship Series with a 6-4 win over the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS. Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber all blasted home runs, and the bullpen sealed the game late to give the Cubs a 3-1 series win.

Yesterday marks the first time in franchise history that the Cubs clinched a postseason series at Wrigley Field. They now await the winner of the Dodgers-Mets NLDS series. The NLCS will get underway on Saturday.

Cubs open the month with a flurry of roster moves

Javier Baez returns to the Cubs lineup. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs Tuesday recalled infielder Javier Baez and left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada from Triple-A Iowa, activated catcher David Ross off the family medical emergency leave list and added outfielder Austin Jackson to the active roster.  Additionally, the Cubs have selected the contracts of outfielder Quintin Berry (postgame last night) and right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill (today) from Triple-A.

To make room for Berry and Cahill on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher James Russell was designated for assignment and right-handed pitcher Rafael Soriano was  activated from the 15-day disabled list and designated for assignment. Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 40, and the active roster is at 30 players.

Berry will wear uniform No. 5, Cahill will wear uniform No. 53 and Jackson will wear uniform No. 27.

Baez, 22, batted .324 (91-for-281) with 14 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 61 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 70 games with Iowa this season. He turned in a .385 on-base percentage and .527 slugging percentage, good for a .912 OPS, and joins the Cubs riding a 16-game hitting streak. Baez made his major league debut last season and batted .169 with six doubles, nine homers and 20 RBI in 52 games. He was Chicago’s first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2011 Draft.

Berry, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Cubs on Aug. 24 after spending the entire season with Boston’s Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate, where he batted .228 with a .329 on-base percentage and 35 steals in 106 games. He has spent parts of three major league seasons with Detroit (2012), Boston (2013) and Baltimore (2014), batting .266 with a .337 on-base percentage in 117 games, and is a perfect 25-for-25 in stolen base attempts in the regular season and a perfect 5-for-5 in the postseason.

Cahill, 27, signed a minor league deal with the Cubs on Aug. 18 and turned in five scoreless relief outings with Iowa, covering 7.2 innings. The right-hander broke into the big leagues with Oakland in 2009 and was an 18-game winner a season later, going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 30 starts, earning AL All-Star honors along the way. Overall, Cahill won 10 or more games in four straight seasons (2009-12) and is 64-72 with one save and a 4.16 ERA in 201 major league outings (28 in relief) with Oakland (2009-11), Arizona (2012-14) and Atlanta (2015).

Jackson, 28, was acquired Monday from Seattle, where he batted .272 with 18 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 38 RBI, 46 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 107 games this season. Since making his major league debut with Detroit in 2010, Jackson has batted .273 with 163 doubles, 47 triples, 54 home runs and 286 RBI in 831 career games, all of which have come in center field.

Ross, 38, is batting .190 with one home run and seven RBI in 57 games with the Cubs this season. He owns a 2.73 catchers’ ERA in his 44 games (35 starts) behind the plate.

Wada, 34, returns to the Cubs after going 1-1 with a 3.73 ERA in seven starts earlier this season. With Iowa, Wada went 4-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 16 starts. He made his big league debut with the Cubs last year and has combined to go 5-5 with a 3.40 ERA in 20 major league starts over the last two years.

Russell, 29, went 0-2 with one save and a 5.29 ERA in 49 relief appearances with the Cubs this season.

Soriano, 35, went 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA in six relief appearances for the Cubs this season.

Cubs reduce spring roster; assign Baez, Bryant, Russell to minors

The Cubs have assigned three high-profile players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 38 to 35 players.

Infielder Javier Baez has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Two nonroster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: infielders Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.

Chicago’s spring roster of 35 players consists of 18 pitchers (one nonroster invitee), four catchers (one nonroster invitee), six infielders (one nonroster invitee) and seven outfielders.

Cubscast Mesa: Goals for the 2015 season

Success can be defined in many ways by Major League Baseball players. Some set personal goals, while others just want to stay healthy for the duration of the season. But when we sat down with Cubs personnel to find out their goals for the 2015 season, one thing became abundantly clear: This club expects to win.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower
Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, What the Cubs are watching on TV
Cubscast Mesa: The next wave of Cubs talent
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, The best thing I did this offseason

Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp

The Cubs finished on a strong note in 2014 and were riding a huge wave of momentum as they entered Spring Training. New veteran additions have joined with the organization’s unmatched young talent to make the Cubs the talk of the Cactus League. We sat down with some of the new and old players to find out what the feeling is like in camp and how it differs from the feeling in previous years.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower

Cubs rank third in ESPN future power rankings


Javier Baez could be a key to the Cubs’ future success. (Photo by Stephen Green)

In an attempt to forecast how well each major league organization will do over the next five-years, ESPN Insiders Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney created the preseason MLB Future Power Rankings. The trio ranked each club in the following five categories: the quality of the current big league roster, the quality of the farm system, the team’s finances, a team’s management, and the mobility of the current roster or the current age and contract status of the team.

With the best minor league system in the game and a number of key veteran offseason additions, the Cubs find themselves at No. 3 in the rankings. The team jumped up one spot from when these rankings were last compiled on Oct. 31. Here’s what ESPN had to say about the Cubs.

Majors: 17 points (30 being the best score)
Minors: 30 points
Finance: 23 points
Management: 29 points
Mobility: 23 points

The overview
To date, Theo Epstein’s plan is playing out very well. Now the Cubs need prospects such as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez to make a successful jump to the next level. They also need to grab one of the elite starters on next winter’s free-agent market, such as Jordan Zimmermann or David Price. — Buster Olney

The dilemma
How will the Cubs configure their middle infield over the next few seasons? For now, Javier Baez is the front-runner at second base, with Starlin Castro at shortstop, but when shortstop prospect Addison Russell is major league-ready, he’ll end up beating out one of them, which could cause multiple players to shift positions. It could even mean third-base prospect Kris Bryant has to play a corner-outfield spot. — Jim Bowden

Impact prospect
Bryant should be the Cubs’ Opening Day third baseman, but he’ll probably be brought up by late April and is my pick to win NL Rookie of the Year. If it’s not him, it could just as easily be right fielder Jorge Soler. — Keith Law

1000 Words: Manny being mentor


(Photo by Stephen Green)

Since Manny Ramirez (right) joined the Cubs organization midway through 2014, he has worked as a mentor for many of the young players in the system, including second baseman Javier Baez (left). This season, Ramirez, a two-time World Series champion and a member of the 500 home run club, is serving as a hitting consultant for the organization. He’ll continue to work with the players as the year progresses.

ESPN’s Law ranks the Cubs’ system best in baseball


Kris Bryant heads what Keith Law calls the best system in baseball. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

In July, ESPN prospect expert Keith Law raved about the Cubs’ system, naming it the best in the game at that point. He went so far as to say, “This has to be the most loaded the Cubs’ farm has been in at least 30 years.”

That feeling has continued to resonate with Law, who again named the Cubs’ farm system the best in baseball heading into the 2015 season.

1. Chicago Cubs

The Cubs’ draft strategy under the Theo Epstein/Jed Hoyer regime has been to grab a polished hitter in the first round and load up on arms later. That, along with the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel that netted two more top hitting prospects, has produced a system that’s full of hitting prospects but still a bit light on the pitching side. The first wave of bats reached the majors in the middle of 2014, with more coming this year, but there won’t be enough at-bats for Javier Baez and Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara and Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber and Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo … and that’s not even everyone who might end up pushing for playing time. The Cubs are in prime position to flip a young hitter for a pitcher or even to swing a bigger deal, especially if they want to try to set themselves up to win the NL Central in 2016. There are young starting pitching prospects here to like, led by 20-year-old Duane Underwood, but they’re all a few years away.

Law ranked the Cubs the No. 4 system at this time in 2014, No. 5 in 2013, and No. 20 in 2012—mere months after Epstein and Hoyer took over.

Law will unveil his top 100 prospects on Thursday and list his top 10 prospects for each club on Friday.


Cubs Winter League Recap: 1/21/15

Junior Lake recorded a home run for his Dominican squad in an otherwise quiet day for Cubs representatives around the Caribbean Wednesday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action:

Dominican Republic

  • CF Junior Lake provided all the offense for the Estrellas de Oriente in their 5-1 loss to the Gigantes del Cibao. Lake hit his second home run of the postseason in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk. His team reached base only two other times as the Estrellas now trail 3-2 in the best-of-nine championship series.

Puerto Rico

  • SS Javier Baez went 0-for-5 with a walk, though his Cangrejeros de Santurce squad topped the Indios de Mayaguez to tie the best-of-nine championship series 1-1.


  • 1B Willson Contreras couldn’t repeat his solid Tuesday, going 0-for-4 on Wednesday, but his Tigres de Aragua topped the Aguilas del Zulia. The Tigres have been mathematically eliminated from advancing to the championship round.

Cubs Winter League Recap: 1/20/15

Willson Contreras came up big as a pinch-hitter to help his team earn a victory Tuesday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action around the Caribbean:


  • PH-1B Willson Contreras replaced Wilson Ramos and recorded two hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning, to boost the Tigres de Aragua to a win over the Tiburones de La Guaira in the round robin portion of the Venezuelan postseason. However, with just two games remaining, the Tigres have been eliminated from postseason play. The top two teams advance to the final, and Aragua can finish no better than third.

Puerto Rico

  • SS Javier Baez went 0-for-4 as the Cangrejeros de Santurce fell to the Indios de Mayaguez in the first game of Puerto Rico’s championship series.

Dominican Republic

  • CF Junior Lake finished 0-for-4 in the Estrellas de Oriente’s 5-3 loss to the Gigantes del Cibao. The best-of-nine championship series is now tied at two games apiece.

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