It’s Baez time:
Baez recently moved off shortstop and over to second base. Which, given the presence of Starlin Castro, was a sign that the Cubs wanted him the bigs sooner rather than later. Given that he’s considered a top-10 prospect across all of baseball, it’s not surprising.
Baez is only 21, yet has excelled at every level, where he is often among the youngest players in the league. He hit .282/.341/.578 with 37 homers between high-A and Double-A last season. This year in Triple-A he has hit.260/.323/.510 with 23 homers in 103 games, but those numbers are weighed down by a slow start. As the season has gone on he has gotten better and better.
The future is finally here, Chicago.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.