Javier Baez working with outfielders at Cubs spring training

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Cubs position players aren’t required to report to spring training until next Tuesday, but Javier Baez headed to Arizona early to get in some work in the outfield.

According to MLB.com, the 23-year-old has been working with Cubs outfield coach Doug Dascenzo.

Baez has played 42 games at second base, 38 games at shortstop, 11 games at third and one game at first in his two seasons with the Cubs, but team president Theo Epstein said in December they wanted to see him in the outfield.

Baez recently made four starts in the outfield while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. He batted .250 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 15 games.

In addition to Baez, Albert Almora, Shawon Dunston Jr., and Kyle Schwarber also each took reps in center field Tuesday, the report said.

Baez didn’t look out of place while making this leaping catch Tuesday:

Manager Joe Maddon said he plans to play newly acquired outfielder Jason Heyward in center field and the Cubs return Jorge Soler in right and Kyle Schwarber in left.

Epstein told ESPN that adding Baez to the mix is meant to give Maddon more flexibility when filling out his lineup card.

“Maybe it creates another option for Joe in games or an injury fill-in or who knows what it could lead to down the road,” Epstein said.

Pitchers and catchers report Friday.

 Stats via Baseball-Reference 

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