Javy Báez made a cameo appearance as a switch-hitter because he's a man of the world
The best parts of life often involve stepping out of your comfort zone. Maybe it's skydiving. Maybe it's traveling to a country whose citizens don't speak your language. Or, if you're Javy Báez, maybe it's dabbling in becoming a switch-hitter.
Over the past two years, Báez has become one of baseball's most dangerous threats at the plate from the right side, and his team-leading 28 homers have helped keep the Cubs atop the tight NL Central. But why limit yourself? After all, Báez saw first-hand in 2016 just how valuable switch-hitters can be to a ballclub, as Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist played pivotal roles on the Cubs' championship club, and he occasionally hits lefty to get himself warmed up.
With his Cubs leading, 12-5, in the ninth inning on Thursday and Reds infielder Kyle Farmer on the mound, Báez thought that it was as good a time as any to test out his lefty swing:
"Javy Báez, switch-hitter" might have lasted only one lollipop pitch, but what a glorious second it was. He really gave it his all with a beer league-looking swing that brought him down to one knee.
Baez asked Maddon if he could hit lefty and the manager told him to go for it. Felt it was a good time to try it in-game (against a position player in a blowout), though Maddon thinks it's something Javy could learn to do.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 9, 2019
Does Javy think so? Not so much. He’ll stick to righty. pic.twitter.com/RoIiKALK0g
"I was nervous, and I wanted to swing so bad," said Báez, though he also admitted that he would almost certainly remain a right-handed hitter.
Much like the time I tried anchovy pizza, Báez can now at least say he gave swinging lefty a chance. It will probably never happen again, but if it made him even one percent more worldly, then hey, it's worth it.