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Lock up the pop — water-logged Javy Baez could be back in Cubs lineup on Friday

Cubs second baseman Javy Baez — free of pain — is itching to get back on the field.

MESA, Ariz. — Just how bad is the hamstring situation Javy Baez is dealing with? How devastating is the pain? How dire is the outlook?

“I didn’t even get hurt,” the Cubs second baseman said with a wry smile on Wednesday, Day 6 of his shelving since experiencing tightness in his left hamstring during a game. “It was just cramping. I was dehydrated and they just decided to give me a few days. I’ve just been getting water in my system.”

Baez gestured at a cooler full of drinks a few feet from his locker in the team’s spring clubhouse and lamented, “They took all the sodas from my fridge. I’ve got no other choice now.”

Manager Joe Maddon predicted Tuesday that Baez would play again by no later than the beginning of next week. Baez doesn’t see this matter persisting for that long; he’s hoping to get some at-bats in the Cubs’ minor-league camp on Thursday and then be good to go for Friday’s home game against the Diamondbacks or Saturday’s game at the White Sox.

The Cubs will have Mike Freeman at second base and right-hander Alec Mills on the mound to start Wednesday’s game against the Royals in sunny Surprise.

Today’s lineup vs. Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy:

  • DH Ian Happ
  • 3B Kris Bryant
  • 1B Anthony Rizzo
  • C Chris Gimenez
  • 2B Mike Freeman
  • CF Peter Bourjos
  • RF Ryan Court
  • SS Chesny Young
  • LF Jacob Hannemann

Note, by the way, the wisdom of the Buddha:

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