Cubs manager David Ross explains why Javier Baez was benched against Indians


Earlier in the year, Javier Baez’s wild baserunning — and a mental lapse by the Pirates — helped the Cubs score a run. 

On Monday, his baserunning — and a mental lapse by the Cubs shortstop — cost the Cubs an out. 

Baez was pulled from Monday’s game against the Indians by manager David Ross after he was doubled off first base on a flyout when he forgot how many outs there were in the inning, according to a report from ESPN


“We have to make sure we’re focused and locked in during the game,” Ross said, according to ESPN. “Sometimes our frustrations can distract us a little bit.”

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Already this year, there have been several notable miscues on the bases. Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes lost a home run by missing first while rounding the bases, and Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger had a home run taken away when he passed third baseman Justin Turner, resulting in a very long RBI single. 


Baez reached first base on a forceout in the bottom of the fourth inning when first baseman Anthony Rizzo lifted a fly ball into left field. Eddie Rosario easily caught the ball tossed it in to shortstop Amed Rosario who walked the ball over to first before flipping it to first baseman Bobby Bradley for the inning-ending double play as Baez was already at third base and never retreated. 

Baez’s mistake didn’t take a run off the board for the Cubs, but in a game where the offense was held in check by the Indians pitching staff, eventually losing 4-0, every baserunner mattered.

After the game, Baez said that while he was surprised by the decision to remove him from the game and he never wants to be taken out of the lineup, he said he respected the decision. 


“I lost the outs,” Baez said, per ESPN. “I [thought] the whole time that it was two outs. I ran like it was two outs.”

Ross said that he felt the two had a good conversation about what happened, and that he thinks it’s behind them. He noted that he never wants to make an example of Baez, but said that sometimes when a player looks distracted, it is best to put in someone that appears more focused. 

“That guy plays his butt off and brings it 99.9 percent of the time,” Ross said, per ESPN. “I did not feel good taking Javy out of the game. I never feel comfortable doing that at all. It was in my stomach the entire game.”


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