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Video: Javier Báez bats left-handed

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With the Cubs holding a commanding 12-5 lead, the Reds sent infielder Kyle Farmer onto the mound to get the final out of the eighth inning. He got Jason Heyward to ground out. Farmer went back to the bump for the top of the ninth. He got two quick outs, then gave up a single to Victor Caratini, bringing up Javier Báez.

Báez, who normally bats right-handed exclusively, decided to have some fun. He stepped into the left-handed batter’s box and began his at-bat. Báez swung at Farmer’s first pitch — err, lob — sending a high fly ball to straightaway center field.

The Cubs went on to close out the 12-5 win. They have won six of their last seven games and now lead the NL Central by 3.5 games over the Brewers.

Rangers, Padres, White Sox to continue paying minor leaguers

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In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.

Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.

Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.