Both Cubs manager Rick Renteria and team president Theo Epstein seemed satisfied that top prospect Javier Baez is just fine at Class AAA Iowa.
It was an eventful weekend for the 21-year-old shortstop, who was ejected from Saturday's game for his reaction to a checked-swing call. Veteran catcher Eli Whiteside and other Iowa teammates talked with Baez about his reaction, with Whiteside reportedly confronting Baez in the dugout.
Epstein said Tuesday he had no concerns about Baez, who opened the season 0-for-9 with 6 strikeouts.
"Not at all," Epstein said. "I think it was a great development experience for him. He started out not feeling really comfortable at the plate. He let that get him frustrated. He showed it on the field.
"His teammates know how good he can be and how good a teammate he can be, and they called him out on it, and he responded just the right way and took it to heart.
"He came back the next day and pinch hit and hit a home run. He's hit the ball hard in 5 straight plate appearances. He's taken the responsibility of being a really good teammate to heart, and experiences like that will just help him get where he needs to be."
Epstein added it's better for a player to get those kind of experiences in the minor leagues rather than in the majors.
Renteria saw plenty of Baez in spring training and said he was aware of went on in Iowa.
"We're all aware of everything that's going on," he said. "I think he had a nice conversation with a teammate, and that was good. A tremendously great learning experience."
No closer controversy:
Although the Cubs made a change at closer early last season under former manager Dale Sveum, Rick Renteria said he wants to see how things play out with Jose Veras.
Veras entered Tuesday with an ERA of 16.20, and he had walked six in 1⅔ innings. Last year the Cubs replaced Carlos Marmol very early with Kyuji Fujikawa, who then got hurt and was replaced by Kevin Gregg.
In Sunday's victory over the Phillies, Veras could not finish the game even though he came in with the Cubs ahead 8-1. He walked four batters.
"I'll deal with that and cross that bridge when I get to it," Renteria said. "Right now, it's really premature for me to make a decision or say that I would change something or not change it. I've got to see what happens."