Day 3 of Cubs scrimmage provides glimpse into regular season
As a recording of a “Javy! Javy!” chant piped through the Wrigley Field loudspeakers, Javy Báez pumped his fist in tune with the chant and stepped back into the batter’s box. Two pitches later, he roped a double into left-center.
It was a perfect snapshot of what the 2020 regular season might look like for Báez and the Cubs.
The third day of Cubs intrasquad scrimmages at Wrigley Field featured piped-in crowd noise and walk-up music as each hitter came to the plate and each pitcher took the mound.
Throughout the 2.5-inning simulated game, the crowd sound was mostly a dull background noise, increasing at different moments with cheers or the Báez chant.
The visiting lineup also looked similar to what manager David Ross might roll out on Opening Day:
1. Kris Bryant – 3B
2. Javy Baez – SS
3. Kyle Schwarber – LF
4. Willson Contreras – C
5. Jason Heyward – RF
6. Jason Kipnis – 2B
7. Albert Almora Jr. – CF
8. Josh Phegley – 1B
Obviously it wasn’t complete without a designated hitter, but slide Anthony Rizzo in there between Bryant and Báez in the batting order and at first base. The Cubs held Rizzo out of Tuesday’s scrimmage due to lower back tightness.
The home team lined up like this:
1. Ian Happ – CF
2. David Bote – SS
3. Víctor Caratini – C
4. Steven Souza Jr. – LF
5. Daniel Descalso – 3B
6. Nico Hoerner – 2B
7. Ian Miller – RF
8. PJ Higgins – 1B
Contreras hit the first home run at Wrigley Field in 2020 with a 2-run blast off Craig Kimbrel in the top of the 1st inning. Bryant singled to begin the frame and after Báez and Schwarber struck out, Contreras deposited a Kimbrel offering a couple rows deep into the bleachers in right-center.
The Wrigley loudspeakers blared “Whoomp There It Is” as Contreras crossed home plate.
The rest of the scrimmage was mostly uneventful as Brad Wieck mixed a walk in between a trio of strikeouts in his inning of work.
Kipnis drove a ball to the warning track in left field off Jeremy Jeffress, but Souza made a nice over-the-shoulder catch to rob his teammate of an extra-base hit.
Dillon Maples walked the first 2 batters he faced — Descalso and Hoerner — but also struck out a pair and got a fielder’s choice to finish with a scoreless frame.
Southpaw Danny Hultzen closed out the scrimmage after allowing a leadoff double to Báez (the “Javy! Javy!” chant must’ve worked…). Schwarber grounded out to second base to move Báez to third, but Contreras and Heyward struck out to end the game.
The Cubs resume summer camp action Wednesday at Wrigley Field with live BP sessions.