Baez expected to return to Chicago Cubs' lineup soon
The Chicago Cubs were breathing a sigh of relief Monday, one day after infielder Javier Baez was hit on the left elbow with a pitch and had to leave the 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Baez was not in Monday's starting lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field, but he said he is OK.
"I'm good," Baez said. "It's still pretty swollen. Probably one more day. I feel good. I was scared for a moment, but after I started feeling everything, I knew everything was good. I told PJ (athletic trainer Mainville) that they didn't need the X-rays. It's normal. It's just swollen really."
Baez was hit during the third inning of Sunday's game by Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty. He appeared to hold no ill feelings and said he heard from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
"Yadi texted me to see if I was all right," he said. "He actually apologized, and I was like, 'Man, come on, it's part of the game.' "
No worries about Bryant:
Neither manager Joe Maddon nor general manager Jed Hoyer seemed overly concerned about third baseman Kris Bryant, who went 3-for-20 on the road trip to Milwaukee and St. Louis.
"I said it the other day: He's the last guy I worry about," Hoyer said. "The way he runs the bases, the way he plays defense, I feel like he's always contributing to wins even when he might be struggling at the plate a little bit.
"With guys like him, I always look at it and think to myself, 'That means a hot streak is right around the corner.' And I said that about Anthony (Rizzo) in April when he was struggling. He's been great since May 1, and I think Kris will have the same kind of turnaround.
"With him, it's just a matter of when he breaks out. Over the course of the season, every great player goes through one or two big slumps."
Added Maddon: "I can tell he's frustrated with that, there's no question. But he still gets out there, and he still wants to play. He doesn't want any time off. I gave him that day off the other day. He still wants to be out there.
"I give him a lot of credit. He wants to be out there for his team. He's a winning baseball player."
The Cubs placed left-handed reliever Brian Duensing on the bereavement list and recalled lefty reliever Rob Zastryzny from Class AAA Iowa. Duensing tweeted that his grandfather died over the weekend.
Zastryzny joins the Cubs for the second time this year.
Not much of a break:
Joe Maddon said he likes his players playing in the All-Star Game, but he is not happy that the Cubs have a shortened break this year.
The Cubs play in San Diego on Sunday, July 15. The All-Star Game is two nights later, in Washington. On Thursday, July 19, the Cubs play the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field while the rest of MLB resumes on July 20.
ESPN has TV rights for the Cubs-Cardinals game.
"I know the guys like to go," Maddon said. "It's wonderful if they do go. It's great to represent, and it's good for them. It's always nice to get a break.
"I don't understand the shorter break. I know it's TV oriented. To me, there would be much better ways to work it out. You need four days, especially if you have guys participating in the game. One day off and they have to report back to work.
"The four days, once that was figured out, I thought that was perfect. St. Louis is in the same boat, obviously, but I think it's a better method to give all four days off for everybody involved."