September call-ups are coming soon, and for the second time within a week, Cubs manager Dale Sveum was asked about shortstop prospect Javier Baez.
The 20-year-old Baez has torn it up in the minor leagues, with a combined 33 home runs and 100 RBI between Class A Daytona and Class AA Tennessee entering Thursday. His OPS at Tennessee was 1.025 through Wednesday, when he hit a pair of home runs and went 4-for-4.
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"The numbers, and guys sometimes do put you in situations where you do start thinking about it," said Sveum, who deferred to general manager Jed Hoyer and president Theo Epstein. "Those are obviously questions that have to be dealt with by Jed and Theo, but I don't see that happening.
"It's an incredibly impressive year, especially what he's done at Double-A because that's where a lot of really good prospects and a lot of good pitching is anyway."
There are several good reasons the Cubs won't bring up Baez. He is not on the 40-man roster, and the roster count stands at 40. The Cubs need to create a spot for outfielder Ryan Sweeney when they bring him off the 60-day disabled list soon.
They also do not want to start Baez's arbitration and free-agency clocks any sooner than they have to, either.
Likely call-ups will come from players already on the 40-man. Catcher J.C. Boscan (who was up for a day earlier this month) is one possibility because teams like having the extra catcher in September.
Reliever Alberto Cabrera is on the 40-man, and it's likely he'll come up to take some of the load off an overworked bullpen.
Third basemen Mike Olt and Josh Vitters look like long shots. Olt, acquired from Texas this year, has "not been talked about," according to Sveum. Vitters may miss the rest of the season with an injury.
The Cubs recently activated outfielder Brian Bogusevic off the DL, and they'll do the same soon with third baseman Luis Valbuena.
"Obviously, we're strapped with the roster and all that," Sveum said. "We've got guys coming back. We'll get Sweeney back. We just got Bogusevic back. We'll get Valbuena back not too long after Sept. 1. And we have the options of some other guys that are on the roster. I don't see anybody coming up that's not on the roster."
Travis Wood started Thursday's 5-4, 13-inning loss to the Nationals and got no decision, working 62⁄3 innings and giving up 7 hits and 4 runs. He has not won since July 28. Against the Nats, he gave up a run in the first inning and 2 in the second before settling down.
"I just kind of calmed down and figured out they were coming out aggressive and hacking early," said Wood, who has a 3.22 ERA. "I just challenged them and was able to get some quick outs and go pretty deep in the ballgame."
Wood gave up a seventh-inning homer to Steve Lombardozzi, who gave the Nats a 4-0 lead at the time.