Baseball / Sports

Javier Baez gets call to join Cubs

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The long-awaited Javier Baez era will start Tuesday night.

Baez, 21, the heralded Chicago Cubs prospect, will be promoted from Triple-A Iowa and join the team Tuesday when they open a three-game series in Denver against the Colorado Rockies.

The Cubs were adamant that they weren't about to consider Baez for a promotion to the majors until they believed he was dominating the Triple-A level. They apparently became convinced Baez was ready after he hit two home runs Sunday in a loss at Omaha.

Baez is batting .260 with 23 home runs and 80 RBIs in 104 games for Iowa. But he has shown a remarkable recovery since batting .178 on May 21.

The Cubs have moved him from his natural shortstop position to second base for selected games last month, and indications are that he's ready for the transition on the major league level with incumbent Starlin Castro at shortstop.

Baez's defense has improved remarkably this season. After committing 44 errors last summer, Baez has cut down his overall total to 15.

Baez has committed 13 errors in 85 games at short and two in 16 games at second base. The Cubs apparently were comfortable with his work at second base, and Cubs manager Rick Renteria praised Baez recently for his work at second toward the final 2 1/2 weeks of spring training.

Arismendy Alcantara, who has played second and center field, likely will play center for the rest of the season.

Baez was the Cubs' first pick in the 2011 draft and has lived up to his billing at every level. He hit 37 home runs and drove in 111 runs at Class-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last season and made a favorable impression in major league spring training.

Baez has five home runs and 10 RBIs in his past 10 games with Iowa.

The Cubs will make a corresponding roster move prior to Tuesday night's game.

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