Cubs shortstop Javy Báez was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game against the Reds on Wednesday.
Báez (left heel bruise) underwent a plyometric workout in the outfield pregame, but Cubs manager David Ross said the shortstop was “still a little timid.”
Báez will be available to pinch hit Wednesday, according to Ross, but whether he’d be cleared to play in the field remained up in the air before the game.
“It should be any day,” Ross said. “It’s one of those lingering bruises that’s 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."
With Báez out Wednesday, Nico Hoerner filled in at shortstop, and Matt Duffy started at second base.
Despite the injury, Báez made a pinch-hitting appearance in the Cubs’ 6-5 win over the Reds on Monday, delivering the walk-off RBI single against nemesis Amir Garrett. Báez’s celebration made waves. On Tuesday, the Cubs scratched Báez from the lineup with the same heel issue.