Breaking News Bar
updated: 3/4/2014 2:20 PM

Baez should start season with big club

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Javier Baez can't come up with a ball hit by Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain on Sunday. Baez could be a mid-season call-up, but Mike Imrem wishes the Cubs would just let him begin the season with the big club.

      Javier Baez can't come up with a ball hit by Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain on Sunday. Baez could be a mid-season call-up, but Mike Imrem wishes the Cubs would just let him begin the season with the big club.
    Associated Press

  • Javier Baez has to lean back to catch a fly ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Carlos Peguero during the third inning of an exhibition baseball game Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz.

      Javier Baez has to lean back to catch a fly ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Carlos Peguero during the third inning of an exhibition baseball game Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz.
    Associated Press

 
 

Cubs' shortstop prospect Javier Baez dared to hit a home run Monday in sunny Arizona.

This should warm the hearts of frigid Cubs fans back home, but all it did was heat up a controversy.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Shouldn't Baez, who hit 37 homers in the minor leagues last season, start this season in the majors? Especially if he has a productive spring training?

First of all, please don't ask how I happened to hear the great Pat Hughes' radio call of Baez's homer in a Cactus League game against the Brewers.

OK, ask. The answer is I wanted to hear how Baez and some other youngsters are doing.

Hughes estimated the homer carried 450 feet. He described its flight pattern as "majestic" and this is a play-by-play man whose voice you trust.

So what's the downside to a spring-training home run?

Starting shortstop Starlin Castro is nursing a hamstring strain. Many Cubs fans wouldn't mind seeing Baez replace him permanently.

Or how about Baez coming to Wrigley Field to play second base or third base? No, management insists that Baez will start the season in the minors, perhaps to delay the big-league salary clock from starting.

This is an allegedly major-league team coming off two awful seasons. Methodical isn't working for fans anymore. They're tired of paying big bucks for incompetence, hope and the future.

No wonder attendance has been dwindling. The Cubs' rebuilding plan was cute for a while but has been splashed with graffiti.

Other teams promote younger players to learn in the majors, but Cubs management keeps preaching patience. It's getting old.

There is no right or wrong with all this and won't be for a while.

Fans and some media members -- including me -- aren't necessarily right for wanting Baez and others to be up sooner than later.

Cubs baseball chief Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer aren't necessarily wrong for wanting prospects to be seasoned further.

Some players are rushed to the major leagues before their time and never recover from the lack of minor-league experience.

Others are rushed to the majors and play even better than they did in the minors.

Projecting prospects clearly is more feel than science.

Some players are given every opportunity to learn every aspect of the game in the minors and still flop when they get to the majors.

Others are served well by seeing everything that there is to see down there and wind up having terrific careers.

Yes, projecting prospects clearly is more feel than science.

The Cubs acquired Anthony Rizzo after the Padres brought him up too soon, he had a decent season in Wrigley Field and then his batting average plunged last year.

Starlin Castro burst on the major-league scene at age 20, had two outstanding seasons and then went backward the past couple of seasons.

Seriously, projecting prospects clearly is more feel than science.

Think back to how many Cubs' rookies started out hot and cooled off in a hurry.

One argument for keeping prospects down on the farm this season is the Cubs aren't ready to win anything yet anyway.

As good an argument is that this is a good situation for youngsters because there won't be the pressure of a pennant race.

Seriously, projecting prospects clearly is more feel than science.

As expert as Epstein and Hoyer are, they're just guessing like everyone else.

Management could do whatever wrong is and watch it turn out right or do whatever right is and watch it turn out wrong.

I know, I know, they have to do what they believe is best and hope and wish and pray it turns out even better.

Personally, I just wish they believed that the way to go is letting Javier Baez and others learn the game in the majors.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here