With a .216 batting average and 31 strikeouts in 18 games it may be a while before Cubs rookie Javier Baez figures out how to control the strike zone, but the 21-year-old middle infielder has definitely already figured out how to hit the ball really, really far off major-league pitchers.
His latest, a solo shot off Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman:
That gives Baez six homers, which is the second-most in Cubs history through 18 career games behind a guy named Mandy Brooks who went deep eight times through 18 games in 1925. Brooks finished his career with 15 total home runs.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.