|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Cubs' Baez exits game early with injury03/21/2014 8:00 PM ET
By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com
It seems like the only thing that can stop Javier Baez is the first base bag.
The Cubs' top prospect left Friday's Cactus League game with a right heel contusion after landing awkwardly on the bag. Baez was examined by Ed Halbur, the club's assistant athletic trainer, and the injury is not considered serious, although he will be re-examined on Saturday.
The injury comes two days after the 20-year-old shortstop belted a 452-foot home run to dead center field at Salt River Field in the Cubs' 9-6 loss to the Rockies. It was Baez's fifth spring homer while maintaining a .310 average in 14 games.
A season after slugging 37 homers, it's expected that Baez will open the year in the Minors, likely Triple-A Iowa. But that hasn't dimmed speculation about his Major League readiness.
"Anything's possible," Cubs manager Rick Renteria told MLB.com. "I can't discount any of that. In the immediacy, I think we're as pleased as everybody else is as to how he's shown this spring. I think he had a pretty good showing last spring also. We'll just take it day by day and see how we go."
Baez leads the Cubs with 13 hits and is tied for the Major League lead in homers. He gave the Cubs a scare on Wednesday when he collided with left fielder Anthony Giansanti while chasing a popup.
"When any of the players go down, something grabs you a little," Renteria told MLB.com. "As a player, sometimes the initial shock of any action takes you down, so then you're regrouping as you're laying there. A lot of it is [checking that] 'I'm OK.'"