Cubs expected to call up Javier Baez on September 1

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Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com has the news:

The Cubs are planning to make Javier Baez part of their first wave of September call-ups.

“There’s a lot of things he can do to help you win right now,” manager Joe Maddon said Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Baez batted just .169/.227/.324 and racked up a whopping 95 strikeouts in 52 games last season for the Cubs, but he’s made great strides with his plate approach this year on the farm and he could slide his way into regular playing time in Chicago if he hits well out of the gate. Baez entered play Saturday with a .316/.380/.530 slash line, 13 home runs, 60 RBI, and 17 stolen bases through 67 games at Triple-A Iowa. And he hit a sixth-inning single on Saturday night against the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Giants to extend his current hitting streak to 15 games.

Baez is projected to get starts at third base, shortstop, and second base initially. He probably fits best at second, where Starlin Castro and Tommy La Stella have been splitting time since Addison Russell was moved to short. Baez, 22, was ranked a top-10 prospect by MLB.com, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus ahead of the 2014 season. He’s been buried somewhat by some other younger Cubs who have graduated and been able to contribute right away, but the kid’s future still shines bright.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.