Cubs fans have been hollering for the front office to “bring up the kids” from Iowa and Tennessee. They will get part of their wish tonight when Javier Baez is activated and getting his first major league start in a game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver. According to the Cubs, Baez will wear uniform number nine, he will hit second and start at second base.
Baez, 21, is one of the key parts of the rebuilding of the Chicago Cubs. If you’ve been lucky enough to see Baez this year in spring training or at Triple-A Iowa, you know his power. In spring training he hit long home runs. One of those home runs shattered the windshield of a car in the parking lot behind the field on which he was playing. In Triple-A Iowa Baez has been batting .300 since July 1, with 12 home runs. He hit two home runs in this past Sunday’s game.
Baez was ranked number two on mlb.com’s list of top Cubs prospects, behind Kris Bryant, who is swiftly proving himself as part of a happy future for the Cubs and their fans. Baez was the Cubs’ first round draft pick in 2011, and there has been a buzz around him since he was drafted.
According to an article on cubs.com, Baez found out about his promotion to the parent club in a most unusual way. His manager in Iowa, Marty Pevey, woke Baez in his hotel room in Omaha to talk to him about some footwork. Baez, still mostly asleep, couldn’t understand why he would get a call like that from his manager. The real reason for the call is what woke him up.
It was rightly pointed out on bleedcubbieblue.com that young call-ups do not always adapt right away to the majors, but for now it probably won’t matter to Cub fans. Baez is the first key in the future with which President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein has been taunting fans. To make room for Baez on the 40 man roster, Blake Parker was optioned back to Triple-A Iowa, leaving the team with a more manageable seven relievers and five bench players.
Baez’s promotion has Cub fans wondering when Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant will be called up. Excitement is building once again in Cubs Nation after Epstein made the team sellers at the end of July. The first of the “kids” is about to make his debut on the road. It goes without saying that he will receive a very warm welcome when the Cubs return to Wrigley Field on Friday.