The Cubs officially activated Baez on Friday, optioning infielder Munenori Kawasaki to Triple-A Iowa. If Baez has his way, he will not only learn his way around, but make sure he is here to stay. The 23-year-old is coming off the 15-day disabled list after he suffered a left thumb contusion. He hit .267 with a home run in his four-game rehab stint with Iowa.
Baez, who hit .289 with six doubles, a home run and four RBIs in 28 games with the Cubs last season, said he hopes this is the year he establishes himself in Chicago.
"This is a game that is all about making adjustments," Baez said. "These last couple years have been up and down. Hopefully this year, with everything that I learned, I get everything together and have a good year."
Baez will give the Cubs plenty of flexibility thanks to his ability to play second base, shortstop and the outfield.
"You'll see him all over the place, all over the map," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We'll get him out there relatively soon. I wanted to get him some action. A young guy like that you cannot sit too long."
Maddon toasts Kawasaki goodbye
Maddon said Thursday night was likely the first time he has ever shared a glass of wine with a player he was sending to the Minors. Maddon wanted to tell Kawasaki he had done a respectable job, and he also said he expects Kawasaki to be back at some point.
"It was a very warm moment," Maddon said. "Actually a very tasty moment, too."
Maddon said the Cubs have studied data and video and devised a plan for pitching to Rockies rookie shortstop Trevor Story, who entered Friday having already slugged seven home runs this season.
That plan, however, could change as the Cubs gets a closer look at the phenom.
"I think we can determine what we're seeing and what we think we'd like to do," Maddon said. "But you've always got to see a guy in person. I like to put the data and the video together with the eyeball test."
Maddon also added with a smirk: "Listen, it's one of the best stories in baseball this year."
Day games beneficial
The Cubs play three day games in this weekend series with the Rockies, a scheduling style Maddon said he talked with Cubs management about, and one he believes will likely benefit the team.
"It's nice to know the time tomorrow is going to be the same as today, then on Sunday," Maddon said. "It really helps routine among all of us."