Cubs reassign top prospect Javier Baez to minor league camp


Cubs top prospect Javier Baez has drawn raves all spring for his quick bat and power potential, but the club announced this morning that he has been reassigned to minor league camp.

Baez hit .310 (13-for-42) with five home runs in 14 games during Cactus League play. However, he also struck out 13 times and failed to draw a walk. Today’s move isn’t unexpected, but the bruised right heel he suffered yesterday pretty much sealed it.

While Baez has been playing second base in recent days, fueling speculation that perhaps the Cubs were considering bringing him up to the majors earlier than anticipated, Cubs manager Rick Renteria told David Kaplan of that he’ll play shortstop in the minor leagues. Either way, there’s a good chance he’ll make his major league debut by midseason.

Baez, 21, batted .282 with 37 home runs and a .920 OPS over 130 games last season between High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee and was recently ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the game by Baseball America.

Indians release Mike Napoli

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The Cleveland Indians have released Mike Napoli.

This is not terribly surprising as he was seen as a depth move to begin with. Injury insurance for Yonder Alonso at first base and Edwin Encarnacion at DH, neither of whom are injured at the moment. Napoli was on a minor league contract and the Indians made it clear that, if he can’t find a major league job elsewhere, he’s welcome to come back and cool his heels in Columbus in the event he’s needed later.

Which may be what happens if he wants to keep playing because, after a season in which he hit .193/.285/.428, and a spring in which he hit .218/.310/.431, there aren’t likely to be a ton of takers.