Báez exits as precaution after HBP on arm

Cubs shortstop diagnosed with bruised forearm after plating run with bags full

March 5th, 2021

MESA, Ariz. -- grimaced in pain and tossed his bat away on Friday afternoon, following an inside offering from Cleveland's Cal Quantrill that struck the Cubs shortstop on the inside of his right forearm. It was a painful pitch that resulted in Báez exiting Chicago's 10-4 Cactus League loss to the Tribe (in seven innings) prematurely out of precaution.

With the bases loaded in the third inning, and the Sloan Park crowd buzzing with anticipation of a potential grand slam, Báez worked the count full before being struck by the pitch. The Indians opted to end the inning at that juncture after the run scored, and Báez headed back to the dugout, where he could be seen talking to manager David Ross. The Cubs announced that Báez sustained a bruised forearm and was pulled out of an abundance of caution.

Ross elected to remove Báez, who was replaced by infield prospect Andy Weber at shortstop for the top of the fourth inning. Báez was credited with an RBI for the hit-by-pitch after having grounded into a double play in his first at-bat of the day.

Coming off a Gold Glove Award-winning 2020 season, which also included offensive struggles, Báez is entrenched as the Cubs' starting shortstop. As things currently stand, Chicago's top backup options at the position include Nico Hoerner, Ildemaro Vargas and non-roster invitee Eric Sogard.