Trades might hasten promotion for Javy Baez
BY Gordon Wittenmyer Staff Reporter July 31, 2014 10:10PM
Updated: August 1, 2014 7:03PM
The Cubs say the trades in recent days of infielders Darwin Barney and Emilio Bonifacio have no bearing on when prospects such as Class AAA middle infielder Javy Baez get to the majors.
But with no major-leaguers coming back in those deals, the Cubs have created the flexibility to promote Baez — Baseball America’s seventh-ranked prospect — at any time in the final two months and allow him to play regularly.
“We’re not going to change our timetable on any of our prospects based on a move we made at the big-league level,” general manager Jed Hoyer said after the deadline-day deal Thursday that sent Bonifacio and reliever James Russell to the Braves for catching prospect Victor Caratini.
Whatever value this July’s trades yield, Jake Arrieta touted the return on one of last year’s deals with his 10th consecutive quality start — and fourth in the last nine in which he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
“When you make a deal like that last year, you see the guy’s stuff and you know he has the potential,” Hoyer said of the 2013 trade with the Baltimore Orioles that landed Arrieta. “You don’t know how long it’s going to take, if ever, to come out. In the case of Jake, it’s been fun to watch. He looks like an incredibly confident pitche.
Arrieta’s seven stellar innings in a 3-1 victory against the Colorado Rockies made him the first Cub in 20 years to pitch 10 straight quality starts in the same season (Steve Trachsel had 11).
“It’s just something that we need,” Arrieta (6-2, 2.11 ERA) said. “We need a few more guys to continue to take strides in the right direction in our rotation. We’ve got guys who can do that, and I feel like we’ll probably have a few more in the near future.”
Felix the calf
Felix Doubront, the disgruntled left-hander acquired from the Red Sox for a player to be named later, will start his Cubs career on the disabled list as he rehabs a sore calf, Hoyer said.
Eventually, Doubront will be worked into the rotation, where he opened the season for the defending World Series-champion Red Sox before pitching his way to a demotion to the bullpen.