Baez close to returning from the DL

Baez close to returning from the DL

CHICAGO -- Javier Baez went 1-for-4 on Wednesday in his third rehab game with Triple-A Iowa and is close to being activated from the disabled list. Baez jammed his left thumb sliding headfirst into first base in a Spring Training game on March 16.

"He's feeling well, he's doing well," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I've heard all is good. He's getting closer to coming back."

The plan was for Baez to get at least 20 at-bats at Iowa. So far he's started at third base, left field and shortstop, and also got some playing time at second base.

• The Cubs' new clubhouse has plenty of toys, but the equipment that the athletic trainers now have at their disposal will benefit Kyle Schwarber, who is out for the season after tearing two ligaments in his left knee.

"Why is this facility is so important? This is a perfect example of why," Maddon said.

No date has been set for Schwarber's surgery to repair torn ACL and LCL ligaments. Maddon said keeping Schwarber with the team should help his rehab.

Schwarber gets introduced

"It's important to keep him here and involved so we can see him and he can see us," Maddon said.

If the Cubs didn't have the facilities available in Chicago, Schwarber would have to go to Mesa, Ariz., to use the complex there.

Anthony Rizzo recognized Starlin Castro by using the former Cubs infielder's walk-up music, "Ando en la Versace" by Omega, in his first at-bat on Monday night in the home opener. Fans and players clapped along to the song, which they did last season. Castro was traded last December to the Yankees for pitcher Adam Warren.

"It was outstanding," Maddon said Wednesday of Rizzo's surprise. "I had no clue it was going to happen, and when it came on, I looked at Riz and he smirked back at me, and I think I gave him a thumbs-up. I love that the fans are that engaged in it. I even saw their third baseman [Eugenio Suarez] getting into it. It's very cool. It's part of the relationship we've built with the fans here."

Rizzo said on Wednesday that he doesn't plan on using the music again as his walk-up music but was hoping it could be added somehow. Stay tuned.

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