Cubs

Javy Baez forced out of Cubs-Brewers after scary collision but insists he's OK

Javy Baez forced out of Cubs-Brewers after scary collision but insists he's OK

Exactly one year ago Friday, the Cubs were involved in a scary outfield collision in Game 3 when Kyle Schwarber wrecked his knee running into Dexter Fowler.

In 2017, that scary outfield collision came in Game 4 as Javy Baez and Jason Heyward smacked into each other in shallow center field but this time, the Cubs escaped without serious injury.

The two were going for a looping liner off the bat of Brewers centerfielder Hernan Perez in the bottom of the sixth inning. Neither player got a glove on the ball as Heyward's upper body banged into Baez's head/neck area.

The ball just ended up in "no-man's land," Heyward said. "Can't really call that one for either one of us because it's right in between.

"It was the worst possible spot for it to happen."

The Cubs ruled Baez out with a contusion above the left eye, but he insisted after the game he is OK and hopes to be back in Saturday's lineup.

Baez's eye was bloodshot after the game, but he said he has no issues with his vision and knows things could've ended up a lot worse.

"He got me really good, but good thing it wasn't the full elbow or the knee," he said. "It was really scary."

Baez joked he has all of his teeth still and said he and Heyward were laughing after the game about all the eye black that got on Heyward's uniform from Baez's face.

Cubs trainer P.J. Mainville checked out Baez on the field and in the clubhouse but the team didn't need to put him in concussion protocol. Joe Maddon opted for the cautious route and took Baez out despite his pleas to remain in the game.

Heyward stayed in the game and moved to right field. He said he didn't have any lasting effects from the collision but may be feeling it Saturday morning.

Of course, Baez — The Human Highlight — was most upset he or Heyward didn't catch the ball:

"I told [Heyward], 'Next time, make sure someone catches it.'"

Cubs' Anthony Rizzo on coronavirus fears: 'More players will opt out'

Cubs' Anthony Rizzo on coronavirus fears: 'More players will opt out'

Here we go again.

Another day of delayed and pending coronavirus tests. Another six Cubs sit out workouts and a scrimmage as a precaution.

Another reason to doubt whether Major League Baseball can shore up the minimum, baseline safety expectation it promised — timely testing — to pull off a 60-game season that involves teams traveling to and from 30 different locations for nine weeks.

“Yeah, I think some more players will opt out,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said Wednesday as the Cubs and other teams adjusted to yet another day of last-minute personnel and scheduling adjustments because MLB’s every-other-day testing process continues to produce gaps, delays and flaws with results.

“There’s definitely a level of fire drill some mornings,” Cubs manager David Ross said.

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Neither Ross nor Rizzo pointed fingers at MLB or anyone else, Ross again pointing out this is a first-in-history undertaking. And both said they expected the system to improve.

But to Rizzo’s original point, as each day of training camp passes through the hourglass toward next week’s openers without a solution so, too, it seems more players are likely to pass on playing at all.

Thirteen already have opted out, including Giants star Buster Posey and former Cy Young winners David Price and Felix Hernandez — none of those with a pre-existing condition that puts him at higher risk.

MORE: Tracking MLB players who have opted out or declined to play

Many other high-profile players throughout the majors, including Angels superstar Mike Trout and the Cubs’ Yu Darvish say they haven’t ruled out joining the 13, depending on what they see from health and safety conditions as this progresses.

“We didn’t sign up for these bad protocols as far as testing,” said Rizzo, already sidelined with a bad back. “The biggest thing for us is the safety.

“Listen, we are in a pandemic. We are all at risk,” he added. “We all want to play baseball because that’s what we love to do, and we have an opportunity to bring joy to a lot of people that are home, through these tough times.

“But we are all human. If guys start testing positive left and right and this gets out of control, I’m sure you’ll see some guys opt out.”

Darvish said over the weekend that he was prepared to go home if he didn’t like what he saw from a safety standpoint with the Cubs — who so far have been the only team in the league yet to have a player test positive since intake testing.

But he also said, “I’m still concerned.” And it’s hard to imagine that continued delays and uncertainties within the testing process will ease that concern as teams begin to travel out of their bubbles next week.

“Credit to all of our guys for the most part coming in and staying safe,” Rizzo said. “Obviously you can’t control [everything]. You go pick up something at the grocery store and you get it, you can’t control that. But being as safe as you can away [from the park is key].

“Generally, a lot of people want to play, and that’s what we want to do, and it’s just about staying safe.”

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6 Cubs sit out Wednesday's activities due to another COVID-19 testing delay

6 Cubs sit out Wednesday's activities due to another COVID-19 testing delay

Six Cubs players will miss Wednesday’s intrasquad game as they wait for results from Monday’s COVID-19 testing.

It’s the second time this week multiple Tier 1 members of the Cubs — which includes players and coaches — have missed team activities while waiting for test results. Manager David Ross and five other Tier 1 Cubs did not participate in Monday’s activities after Saturday’s results came back pending and required retests.

Ross has preached patience throughout Summer Camp as Major League Baseball works through its early testing hiccups, repeating that message on Wednesday.

“This not easy — I think I've said that a million times — it’s not easy on the players, it's not easy on Major League Baseball,” Ross told reporters. “I don't think it's anybody's fault that things are delayed. 

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“If you want to point fingers, we’re focusing on the wrong task. We've got to focus on, as the Chicago Cubs, doing the best work we can when we're on that field and controlling what we can control, and testing is not in our control. To be frustrated is just a waste of energy for me.” 

Because of the delay, Robel Garcia, Christopher Morel, Brennen Davis and Miguel Amaya joined the Cubs from their South Bend alternate training site for Wednesday’s scrimmage.

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