MESA, Ariz. – Super utility man Javy Baez, the key reason the Cubs were comfortable carrying an extra relief pitcher at the expense of a bench player, didn’t like being told the club is placing him on the 15-day disabled list to open the season.
Baez hasn’t played in more than week because of a jammed thumb. The move is to be retroactive the maximum 10 days allowed before the April 4 opener. He said he’s not upset with the club.
“I’m not mad about it,” Baez said of the decision. “I’m just mad that I’m losing my first Opening Day. But I feel good. I hit two days in a row. When they come back, I’ll be ready to play.”
Baez, who was promoted to the majors late in each of the last two seasons, said he’s focused on the home opener April 11, when he’s expected to be activated. Despite his disappointment at getting the roster news Tuesday, he said he didn’t try to debate the decision.
“We’re all on the same page, and we don’t want to rush anything,” said Baez, who’s expected to play left field, center and possibly all four infield spots this year. “We’re just taking it step by step. And I haven’t seen any live pitching in like a week. So I don’t want to start seeing live pitches [in the regular season] and be all lost again.”