Cubs believe Javier Baez’s dazzling moments make up for his mistakes – Chicago Tribune
“He’ll do everything full gorilla all the time, and sometimes he’ll make a mistake,” manager Joe Maddon said before Tuesday night’s game with the Giants. “That’s OK because with certain people you have to take the bad with the good.
“Everyone wants perfection. He’s going to make mistakes, but most of the time he’s going to pull off events like he did (Monday).”
Maddon is amazed Baez has 16 home runs despite not starting full time.
“I know we talk about the strikeouts (93) and big swings, but look at his two-strike numbers, OPS (.804) and run production (48 RBIs),” Maddon said. “It’s outstanding, and you combine that with first-rate defense.
“(Mistakes are) going to go away with experience. As he gets older and plays more often, he’s going to make fewer routine mistakes, and his game will get sharp.”
Coach Gary Jones, who works with the infielders, believes players take their biggest leaps in development at the major-league level.
“You have to give him credit,” Jones said of Baez. “The guy goes out and plays hard every night and gets his work in. He’s receptive to talking about mistakes he makes, receptive to constructive criticism, and normally he doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”
With shortstop Addison Russell sidelined, pitcher Jake Arrieta believes it’s essential to keep Baez healthy because of his defense and athleticism.
“For as big as his swing is, he manages to make really good contact,” Arrieta said. “I don’t want him to approach the game any other way than he does right now.”
Bryant humbled: Slugger Kris Bryant was honored to sign a baseball Monday for Metallica guitarist James Hetfield.
“Maybe I don’t have as much of an appreciation for it as some of the guys here because I’m a little younger, but one of the best rock ‘n’ roll guys of all time wanted to meet me,” Bryant said.
“There are a lot of opportunities when you play this game, and that’s in my top five.”