Javy Baez Hamstring Injury Diagnosed as Tightness After Exiting vs. Padres

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 28: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs makes a diving play on a ball off the bat of Jose Osuna of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning on August 28, 2017 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez left Thursday's game against the San Diego Padres with what was described as left hamstring tightness immediately after legging out a double, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM.

He slashed .273/.317/.480 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 145 games last year and is a key piece for Chicago as it looks to win its third straight National League Central crown.

Baez's value to the Cubs goes beyond his raw statistics, as his versatility gives manager Joe Maddon the chance to vary the lineup card on a daily basis. Baez also provides injury insurance across the infield and is known for making spectacular plays in the field.

The Cubs still have a number of infielders who can play on an everyday basis if Baez is out, including Kris Bryant at third, Addison Russell at shortstop and Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ at second. Tommy La Stella can also fill the versatile role Baez so often does if needed.

While Chicago has enough pieces to remain afloat without Baez, it could use his bat and glove in the lineup as Opening Day nears.

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