It didn't take long for Javy Baez to get reacquainted with the Wrigley Field bleachers.
After going 0-for-5 in his first few at-bats since being recalled when rosters expanded Tuesday, Baez reached base his first four times up Friday, including this absolute bomb in the fifth inning:
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It was Baez's first big-league homer since Sept. 13 of last season and came in the midst of an eight-run inning for the Cubs.
He also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the first inning and then singled his second and third times up.
"He did a lot of things really well today," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "You just watch him out there, he's got a tension-free kind of a game. He's very loose on the field. Got a really good way out there.
"Now, as he gets better at the plate, he brings that defensive game to offense as far as how he processes everything, heads up - it's gonna be really fun to watch for many years."
The Cubs have spent a lot of time working with Baez on shaving down the extravagant leg kick he had as a part of his swing last season. He's made an adjustment and said he feels comfortable at the plate with it all right now.
The Cubs hope removing the leg kick can help limit Baez's strikeouts and move him toward making consistent solid contact, especially with two strikes.
"He's always going to have a bigger, hard-looking swing," Maddon said. "But as his foot gets down sooner, he makes adjustments during his at-bats - for example when the count is in his favor - he's probably going to let it loose a little bit more.
"As he understands to throttle it back when the count gets away from him and to the pitcher's favor, that's where the real hitting is going to start showing up. He's a young man, but he's really bright on the field. I really believe he's going to make those adjustments. I do."