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Javy Baez (left heel) out of Cubs’ starting lineup for third straight day

Baez hasn’t been in the Cubs’ starting lineup since Sunday against the D-backs.

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Another day, another game without shortstop Javy Baez.

The Cubs shortstop wasn’t in the starting lineup for the third consecutive day in the Cubs’ 8-2 loss Wednesday. Baez, who injured his left heel on Sunday, did come into the on-deck circle in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to the Reds. He also had the game-winning RBI single in Monday’s 6-5 victory against Cincinnati.

Baez went through some drills with head athletic trainer PJ Mainville to test the heel and received treatment pregame. But it’s still a day-to-day issue for the Cubs.

“He got out here and ran a little bit. Still a little timid,” manager David Ross said before the game. “Maybe available off the bench. We’ll see. He’s kind of reassessing. Talking to the trainers. [They] say he’s still a little in between, but it should be any day. I think it’s one of those lingering bruises, it’s just still bothering him a little bit. I don’t want to put him in a situation, especially playing middle infield, where he can’t plant and be secure on his feet.”

Baez’s name, like that of many Cubs, has been in the middle of several trade rumors. And with the deadline on Friday, the status of the heel is likely on top of mind for not only the Cubs, but teams around the game potentially interested in him.

Series in Washington may be in doubt

The Cubs head to Washington after Thursday’s series finale against the Reds, but their series against the Nationals this weekend is not set in stone. After shortstop Trea Turner was pulled from the Nationals game on Tuesday following a positive test for COVID-19, the team announced on Wednesday that three more players and eight staffers had tested positive.

The Nationals’ game on Wednesday was postponed by MLB to allow Washington to do more testing. The Nationals reached the 85% vaccination threshold in late May. The Cubs have not reached the 85% threshold and are not expected to anytime soon.

“I am very concerned,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters Wednesday. “We all took rapid tests today. We’ll follow up, we’ll get additional results [Thursday]. Hopefully no one else will test positive. But yes, there is some concern here right now. As soon as the game got canceled, I got everybody out of here and on a bus and back to the hotel. I want to do the same thing myself.”