This didn’t take long and both Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein were pretty direct on the intentions of the Cubs moving forward with Addison Russell. Or what they won’t be doing with him.
On Monday, ESPN’s Karl Ravech was on the Waddly And Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. During the radio segment Ravech supposedly shared some inside info regarding the Cubs and their desire to have Russell return as the primary starting shortstop over Javier Baez.
Before Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian asked Maddon and Epstein about Ravech’s comments.
The response couldn’t be more clear. Javier Baez is the Cubs starting shortstop and he will be moving forward.
Since Russell was activated last week, he’s started twice at second base and has come in to play in two other games. Baez has started every game this season at shortstop.
Prior to Russell’s 40-game suspension for domestic violence, his biggest attribute was providing great defense at shortstop. Even with Baez on the roster, Russell was still viewed as the better overall defensive shortstop.
However, since Baez has taken over at short, he’s improved and has essentially matched Russell’s ability.
Plus, Baez is one of the best hitters on the team and has been since 2018, so it makes no sense to move him and disrupt what’s been working.
So much for that inside info, Karl.