Cubs

The time is coming for Javier Baez with the Cubs

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The time is coming for Javier Baez with the Cubs

When will the Cubs call up Javier Baez?

It's a question that has been asked basically since the start of the season when Joe Maddon lobbied for Baez to make the Opening Day roster and continued as Baez came back after his absence to deal with the death of his sister and then again after his finger injury earlier in the summer.

The Cubs are currently maneuvering through several injuries, including Jorge Soler's trip to the disabled list with an oblique injury.

[RELATED - Cubs dealt tough blow as Jorge Soler, Jason Motte end up on DL]

The team called up second baseman Tommy La Stella (who actually started at second on Opening Day) Monday to replace Soler's spot, but the question still remains on Baez.

The 22-year-old infielder is hitting .304/.372/.518 (.890 OPS) overall at Triple-A Iowa with 12 homers, 55 RBI, 15 stolen bases and 70 strikeouts in 62 games.

Baez has been especially hot lately, hitting .421 with a 1.003 OPS and eight RBI in his last eight games.

Major-league rosters expand in a week (Sept. 1) and Baez figures to be called up around then anyway, but he could be a boost for the team right now, too.

"He's doing really well," Maddon said before Monday's game. "The plan with him is just to continue to do well. Just because a guy starts doing well does not mean he has to be called up immediately.

"He's still learning his craft. I'm hearing he's getting better with his swing and his approach in his at-bats, which is all good.

"His time will be coming. But he's definitely on the radar screen."

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The Cubs are in the midst of a crucial stretch, matching up against a trio of aces this week (Corey Kluber, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw) while trying to hold off the San Francisco Giants and catch the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card race.

For now, Maddon will go with Chris Coghlan in Soler's spot in right field against right-handed pitchers while Tommy La Stella and Starlin Castro will figure in at second base.

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.

Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.

At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.

This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.

Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.

David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: