Chicago Cubs superstar, Javier Baez picked up right where he left off in 2018 at the start of 2019. Making another strong case to win NL MVP but since his heel injury has had to battle through some struggles at the plate.
Javier Baez has continued to amaze us as Chicago Cubs fans during the start of the 2019 season. Making crazy plays in the field, avoiding tags running the bases, and hitting homers. Something that many people didn’t know if he could continue to do after the 2018 season where he finished second in the MVP voting.
Then on May 19 during a game in the nation’s capital against the Washington Nationals Baez made an unbelievable play that most Cubs fans seemed to expect Baez to make at this point. Baez injured his heel and laid on the field and Cubs fans hearts stopped because we all know that we could not afford to lose El Mago.
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Baez stayed in the game for a few innings, but with the Cubs winning that game by five runs manager Joe Maddon decided to take Baez out so he could rest his injured heel. Then Baez got the next night off against the Phillies and then in-game two of that series, he came off the bench for a pinch-hit walk-off single.
Since that walk-off single Baez has been in the lineup every day but has struggled in a small sample size of two weeks. Before the injury, Baez was hitting, .324/.364/.604, and was striking out 29.2% of the time. Since the injury, Baez is hitting, .307/.348/.577, and striking out at a 32.6% rate. This shows that Baez has been swinging a missing much more since the injury. Including a 0-for-5, five strikeout game on Memorial Day in Houston.
The heel injury is still bothering Baez, in the first two games against the Astros, Baez was the DH for the Cubs which is something that usually you would not see because we all know the defensive player that Baez is.
Now, this could be just everyday struggles that come during a baseball season and nothing to worry about. Hopefully, that’s all it is because we all saw last year with Kris Bryant what a lingering injury can do. I trust that Baez gets out of the recent slump and continues to amaze us with the things that he can do on a baseball field.