During Sunday’s game at Wrigley Field, a very disturbing development to the 2017 Cubs baseball season unraveled. Ednel Javier Baéz (also known as Javy Baéz also known as Javy Beísbol also known as el Mago) was injured. How could this happen to the Boricua’s pet and the National League Central’s regret?
Javy was just doing Javy things when the injury occurred. Hustling around the bases and trying to take an extra bag. Then out of nowhere, the brutish Dansby “I Use Too Many Grooming Products” Swanson sees it appropriate to knee our sweet Prince of Latin Swag in the skull. Javy was forced to leave the game after his vision with reports of blurred vision and headaches.
This sucks. Injuries suck. No way around it. But when Javy went down, I didn’t panic. Lewis, what the hell?!!? Javy has been on fire in the batter’s box and is good for one “oh my Lord” moment on the basepaths or infield every night. The guy is can’t miss television. So why no cause for concern?
I’ll tell you why. This 2017 Cubs squad has proven time and time again that they are the “Next Man Up” Cubs.
Zobrist gets hurt early in the season? No problem. Next Man Up. Ian Happ gets fast-tracked to the big leagues and proceeds to hit 20+ homers and play better than expected defense in both the infield and outfield.
Jason Heyward out for a few weeks with a paper cut? That’s fine. Next Man Up. Jon Jay will step right in and become one of the premier leadoff men in the National League.
Willson Contreras, far and away our hottest hitter, and a difference maker behind the plate, pulls a hammy hustling to first and is out for 6 weeks? Lot of teams pack it in with a loss like that in the midst of a pennant race. The 2017 Cubs? Just send the Next Man Up. Alex Avila will step right in and give you All-Star caliber production from the Catcher spot and Anthony Rizzo will become the most productive hitter in the National League not named Giancarlo Stanton.
Addison Russell, our All-Star 23-year old shortstop, is out indefinitely because his foot has a boo-boo? Fine, Addison! Next Man Up! Javy Baez will take the field at shortstop and be a non-stop highlight reel while improving his approach and production at the plate!
Now I know Javy is dinged up. And I know he’ll be back in the lineup sooner rather than later. But I didn’t panic when Javy went down on Sunday. This 2017 Cubs team has earned my trust. It doesn’t matter who goes down. The Next Man Up will answer the call.