Baez ecstatic to have Manny around Cubs camp

Rosscup hit on wrist; Banks featured on media guide

Baez ecstatic to have Manny around Cubs camp

MESA, Ariz. -- How happy was Javier Baez to see Manny Ramirez in Cubs camp?

"I grabbed Manny's stuff and put everything in my locker and told him he was going to be here with me," Baez said Friday. "The next day, he moved all his stuff back."

Friday was Day 2 for Ramirez, who has been hired as a hitting consultant and is to work with both the Major League and Minor League players. Baez and Ramirez got to know each other last year at Triple-A Iowa when Ramirez signed as a player/coach.

What did Baez learn from Ramirez?

"The way they will pitch to you, the way they know how to pitch to you, and they know you have to make that adjustment," Baez said.

The Cubs are trying to get Baez to shorten his swing to lower his strikeout numbers and have him experimenting with lowering his hands. He dropped more than 15 pounds this offseason and fortunately hasn't noticed a difference in batting practice.

"I haven't lost any power," he said. "I'm driving the ball everywhere. I haven't seen any difference."

• Hall of Famer Ernie Banks is featured on the cover of the Cubs' 2015 media guide. The Cubs used a black-and-white photo of Banks, who died Jan. 23, one week shy of his 84th birthday. Banks played 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.

C.J. Edwards needs to find a nail salon fast. He had a bandage on his right index finger Friday.

"What I heard was he had a nail problem," manager Joe Maddon said. "We have to send him to a manicurist. I think his nail was too long and they have to trim his nails up."

Zac Rosscup took a ball off of his right wrist during his live BP session Friday. It's a good thing Rosscup is left-handed. Jorge Soler was the batter, and he and one of the athletic trainers checked on Rosscup, who was able to finish his session. Maddon said the reliever was fine.

• The Cubs are not expected to play an intrasquad game prior to the start of Cactus League games on Thursday. The Cubs begin their Spring Training schedule with split-squad games, playing host to the Athletics and also sending a squad to Scottsdale to face the Giants.

Jason Hammel and Travis Wood are among the pitchers scheduled to throw live batting practice on Saturday. Others on the schedule include Tsuyoshi Wada, who was slowed for a couple of days because of a tight left hamstring, plus Dallas Beeler, Justin Grimm, Hunter Cervenka, Armando Rivero and Jorge De Leon.

• The Cubs will have a golf outing next Wednesday and first-base coach Brandon Hyde did his part to promote the event with an impressive long-distance drive before Friday's practice. One of the elements of the tournament is a longest drive contest. Hyde may have clinched it already.

Using a driver, Hyde launched a ball from the agility field behind the Cubs complex more than 300 yards into the outfield of Sloan Park. Hyde had taken a few practice swings before the team showed up, but now he knows how golf pros feel.

"It's a little nerve-wracking to do that in front of 65 people," he said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.