CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein and manager Rick Renteria view top prospect Javier Baez getting kicked out of a Triple-A game over the weekend -- and then having words with teammates -- as a learning experience. Most important is they liked how he responded afterward.
“You want everyone to go through adversity in the minor leagues because it’s important for them to learn how to deal with failure and come back even stronger,” Epstein said before the Cubs played the Pirates on Tuesday night.
Baez had been struggling at the plate through the first week of the season, and after striking out on a checked swing in a game Saturday he threw up his arms, leading to the ejection.
“He started out not feeling really comfortable at the plate,” Epstein said. “He let that get him frustrated, and he showed it on the field.”
And when he got to the dugout, his teammates let him know it wasn’t acceptable behavior. An argument ensued with catcher Eli Whiteside.
"I was mad, he was mad, everybody was mad," Baez told the Des Moines Register. "We argued a little. Nothing personal.”
Epstein added: “It was a great development experience for him. His teammates called him out on it and he responded the right way and then took it to heart. He came back and pinch hit the next day and hit a home run.”
Renteria said he keeps tabs on everything going on and viewed the Baez incident in a similar way as Epstein.
“He had a nice conversation with a teammate,” Renteria said. “That was a good thing ... It’s a tremendously great learning experience.”
Baez is 1-for-14 with six strikeouts at Triple-A Iowa.