Baez sustains bruise in collision with J-Hey

Cubs second baseman expects to play on Saturday vs. Brewers

Baez sustains bruise in collision with J-Hey

MILWAUKEE -- On the one-year anniversary of when Kyle Schwarber sustained a season-ending knee injury in a collision, the Cubs nearly had another costly crash when Javier Baez ran into Jason Heyward in shallow center field in the sixth inning on Friday night.

Baez had to leave the game -- a 2-1 loss in 11 innings to the Brewers -- after sustaining a bruise above his left eye. Baez did not need to undergo the concussion protocol and he could play on Saturday.

The Brewers had just tied the score at 1 in the sixth on Jesus Aguilar's RBI single, and Hernan Perez lofted a fly ball to shallow center. Baez and Heyward converged, and collided into each other. Heyward, though, popped up and was able to get to the ball.

"As soon as I turned, I saw [Heyward] right in my face," Baez said. "I couldn't see what hit me. It was a really big man coming. I kind of saw him in 3-D in my face. Everything's good, everything's fine. I'll be ready to play tomorrow."

Baez stayed on the ground, and took some time before he was able to sit up. After some discussion with manager Joe Maddon and athletic trainer PJ Mainville, Baez walked off the field under his own power.

"He said he was fine, but it just didn't look right," Maddon said. "I didn't feel good about it. There was a large divot out there. I'm certain he'll be fine tomorrow."

Baez wasn't sure what part of Heyward hit him, but Heyward had some of Baez's eye black on his left sleeve and knee from the collision.

"He said he was all right," Heyward said. "It's one of those plays -- you have two good defenders who are trying to make the play. Our communication is, if he hears me, he gets out of the way. If I don't say anything, he goes to get it. I couldn't say anything early enough. That was the worst possible spot to have [the ball drop]."

The Cubs pride themselves on playing good defense, but Perez's ball ended up in no-man's land.

"The ball was in the perfect spot," Baez said. "Nobody was going to catch it. I didn't know how far [Heyward] was playing back. Usually I know. During the [at-bat], we move a lot. I told him, 'Next time, just make sure somebody catches it.' We usually communicate really good."

Neither Maddon, Heyward or Baez were aware that last April 7, Schwarber tore two ligaments in his left knee in a collision with Dexter Fowler at Chase Field.

"That's crazy," Baez said. "At least we passed this day and nobody got hurt. It was close, but everybody's good."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.