Cubs

Javy Baez talked his way back into the Cubs lineup despite injury

Javy Baez talked his way back into the Cubs lineup despite injury

ST. LOUIS - When Javy Baez was scratched from the Cubs' lineup Saturday, it understandably sent shock waves through the fanbase.

Any time Baez misses, it's a huge deal, as he's arguably the most important player on the Cubs roster.

But this was even more cause for concern given it's the same heel injury he's been dealing with for two weeks and the Cubs just had a day off Thursday.

Less than 24 hours later, Baez is back in the lineup and at shortstop again for Sunday's series finale against the Cardinals. Joe Maddon talked Saturday about the possibility of Baez playing third base when he returns to the lineup, to reduce the lateral movement in the field, which is when the heel really acts up.

It was Baez who went to Maddon to let the Cubs manager know his heel was bugging him before Saturday's game - an indication the foot must be a real issue. But things took a turn for the positive throughout the Cubs' 7-4 loss amid a rain delay that stretched to nearly four hours.

"I talked to him after the game last night - he said, 'I want to play,'" Maddon said. "I said, 'OK, you want to play third?' He said, 'No, I want to play shortstop.' I'll just keep a close eye on him. I know it's not 100 percent, but that's just who he is, so I'll just watch him. He wants to play, he said he's ready to go, so we'll just do that."

Maddon has lauded Baez's toughness often and last year's NL MVP runner-up never wants to come out of the lineup, even when he's banged up. So the onus is on Maddon and the Cubs' coaching and training staff to determine if it's worth the risk for Baez to play.

The last thing this team wants or needs right now is to lose their star player for an extended period of time while they're in the midst of a 2-7 stretch. But the Cubs also have hopes of playing deep into October again this season and they don't want to risk any long-term injury to Baez, either.

Maddon insisted the heel injury is not affecting Baez's offense at the moment and the Cubs training staff has not instituted any restrictions.

"You talk to the trainers and the medical people [in addition to the player]. Everybody's fine," Maddon said. "I had him in the lineup [Saturday] before I had to take him out. And then actually game-in-progress, he started to feel better based on the treatment.

"This is a decision I will listen to the player with. Again - based on the medical reconnaissance, too. I feel good about it, but I do want to watch him."

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Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner and other Cubs start a podcast during quaratine

Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner and other Cubs start a podcast during quaratine

Looking for some media to consume during the COVID-19 quarantine? A couple of Cubs got you covered.

Cubs Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner and minor leaguers Dakota Mekkes and Zack Short launched a podcast Saturday named "The Compound." It's fitting, considering the four are still training at the Cubs' spring training compound in Arizona.

In Episode 1, the four discuss the best and worst parts of their days, their dream all-time lineups for a hypothetical World Series Game 7 and take fan questions.

#Content

The MLB season is delayed indefinitely during the coronavirus pandemic, but this is a new, unique way to keep up with some Cubs players in the meantime.

How Cubs’ Jose Quintana learned to speak English and more unique notes

How Cubs’ Jose Quintana learned to speak English and more unique notes

José Quintana is one of the more divisive players on the Cubs. The club acquired him from the White Sox in July 2017, sending top Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the South Side.

In the long run, that trade will be viewed as one-sided. But no matter how you feel about it, Jimenez and Cease were the price for a durable starting pitcher with a solid track record and team-friendly contract.

We all remember the trade. Let’s get into some lesser-known facts about the Cubs left-hander.

1. Quintana is the only pitcher to make 10 or more starts for both the Cubs and White Sox in the same season. In fact, he made nearly a clean split between the Sox (18) and Cubs (14) in 2017.

Bonus: the Quintana trade was the first Cubs-Sox deal since November 2006. The Cubs acquired Neal Cotts in exchange for David Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez.

2. Quintana is one of 24 Colombian born players in MLB history. Others include shortstops Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria, and starter Julio Teheran.

RELATED: Brush up on your Cubs trivia with these Anthony Rizzo facts

3. On the last note, Quintana pitched for Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic — the country's first appearance in the tournament.  He made one start, allowing an earned run in 5 2/3 innings in an extra-innings loss to the U.S.

4. As a prospect with the Yankees, Quintana learned to speak English by watching Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show on NBC.

Come on, that’s pretty cool.

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