Cubs breathe sigh of relief with Javy Baez avoiding the 10-day injured listRussell Dorseyon April 28, 2021 at 11:09 pm

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Baez went through agility drills, took ground balls and batting practice before Wednesday’s game against the Braves.

ATLANTA – After a few days of wondering if Javy Baez would have to go on the 10-day injured list or not, the Cubs got some good news with their star shortstop.

Baez did around 40 minutes of on-field agility work several hours before Wednesday’s game in front of a contingent that included head athletic trainer PJ Mainville and manager David Ross. The plan is for Baez to be back in the lineup for the series finale against the Braves.

“Really good [feedback],” manager David Ross said. “He was moving well. We’ll put him through the full [pregame]. He’ll take ground balls and hit today. Move around and see how he feels tomorrow. All signs are good as long as he’s healthy. He’ll be available off the bench today. If everything goes well and he’s not sore tomorrow, we’ll put him in there.”

Rizzo gets annual nod in the lead-off spot

First baseman Anthony Rizzo getting time as a lead-off hitter has always provided fans with some enjoyment, but usually provides the Cubs with a spark offensively. While Ross looks to shake things up while regular lead-off man Ian Happ gets himself on track, Rizzo doesn’t mind taking over the role for a game or two.

“Just want to win ballgames,” Rizzo said. “That’s it. Hitting first, second, third or fourth. Obviously, I like hitting third and fourth the most, but if he calls on me to be hitting first today, he calls on me to be hitting first today, and I’ll be ready.

“Rossy mentioned it to me and just asked how I felt about it. I said, ‘Yeah, I’m all for it.’ Whatever helps, whatever it takes. And hopefully, it’s one of these things where it jumpstarts me a little bit and jumpstarts our team.”

You can’t blame Ross for following one of the trends his predecessor, Joe Maddon, began a few seasons ago. In 60 games hitting leadoff, Rizzo has a .327/.420/.585 slash line with 14 homers and a 162 wRC+.

“I think just you know with [Happ] out and scuffling a little bit is just trying to mix some things up at the top,” Ross said. “[Rizzo] has done a good job up there in the past to jumpstart the offense a little bit. I think we’ve been swinging the bat pretty good outside of yesterday. … Trying to find the right slot up there at the top and [Rizzo] feels comfortable or has done a really nice job up there and he was okay with giving us some at bats here tonight.”

Romine has MRI on left wrist, out ‘a little while’

Catcher Austin Romine will be out with a severe left wrist sprain. Romine was placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday, his MRI revealed a significant sprain of the wrist, according to Ross. The Cubs don’t have a timetable on Romine and it will be several weeks before he can return to baseball activities.

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