Javier Baez

Javier Báez to face Cubs for first time in career Monday


CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 19: Javier Baez #28 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Nick Sandlin #52 of the Cleveland Guardians during the seventh inning at Progressive Field on August 19, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs will go up against a familiar face on Monday night when they open a series against the Detroit Tigers, as they’ll battle Javier Báez for the first time ever.

Báez, who played for the Cubs from 2014 to 2021, has appeared in games against 29 other MLB teams, but will step into the box against the Cubs for the first time in his career on Monday night when he bats seventh and plays shortstop for the Tigers.

Of course, Báez needs no introduction to Cubs fans. He was named to two All-Star Games, won a Silver Slugger award in 2018, and captured a Gold Glove in 2020.

He also was part of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series-winning squad, hitting 214 home runs and driving in 59 RBI’s in 142 games that season.

The years since have not been kind to Báez, who was traded to the New York Mets in July 2021 in exchange for outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong.

Since that date, Báez has hit 34 home runs and 140 RBI’s for the Mets and Tigers. He has appeared in 112 games this season, with eight home runs and 51 RBI’s, along with 11 stolen bases.

He is slashing .223/.266/.326.

The Cubs enter play Monday with a one-game lead in the National League Wild Card, and they trail the Milwaukee Brewers by three games in the National League Central. The Tigers meanwhile are 7.5 games out of first place in the American League Central, and are 12 games out in the wild card.

First pitch is slated for 5:40 p.m. Central.

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