Anytime shortstop Javy Baez is out of the Cubs’ starting lineup, it’s newsworthy. But his absence Monday in the shadow of the trade deadline Friday was particularly notable.
Baez wasn’t in the starting lineup against the Reds a day after suffering a bruised left heel in the Cubs’ victory Sunday against the Diamondbacks. He fell to the ground after running to first base in the eighth inning but managed to walk off the field under his own power and finish the game. Nico Hoerner started for Baez at short against the Reds.
But Baez felt well enough to pinch-hit in the ninth inning and delivered the winning single with the bases loaded in the Cubs’ 6-5 victory against the Reds.
‘‘Didn’t know how serious it was last night,’’ manager David Ross said before the game. ‘‘Looks like he woke up this morning pretty sore. He’ll be day-to-day.’’
Arrieta, Wick throw simulated games
Right-handers Jake Arrieta (right hamstring) and Rowan Wick (rib muscles) threw simulated games on the field before the game. Arrieta threw around 75 pitches and Wick around 25.
‘‘Jake looked pretty good,’’ Ross said. ‘‘He got some really bad swings. Command was still a little bit off, I thought, in the first couple [of pitches]. But it looked like he locked it in a little bit later. Get back over that glove side. He looked pretty good.
‘‘[Wick] looked good, as well. I thought he looked sharp [with] the breaking ball. It was just nice to see him. Looks like he’s had a chance to build up. Ball was coming out really good. I couldn’t tell velocity or any of that stuff. I’m bad at judging that, but the movement on both guys’ pitches looked pretty darn good.’’
Wick left Wrigley Field afterward and headed to Triple-A Iowa, where he will continue his rehab. Arrieta will throw another bullpen session in the coming days before the Cubs determine his next step.
Steele ready to roll
Left-hander Justin Steele has been getting stretched out at Iowa to start in the big leagues after being an important part of the bullpen earlier in the season.
It sounds as though Steele (2-0, 2.03 ERA in 11 appearances) will make his first major-league start after the trade deadline, giving the Cubs more time to make roster adjustments.
‘‘Justin’s pitching down [in Triple-A] and been stretched out,’’ Ross said. ‘‘He threw [four innings] and 70-something pitches his last start. In theory, he’s ready.’’