After multiple baserunning errors, Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch had enough of his shortstop Javier Baez in their Thursday night game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Baez hasn’t gotten off to a good start to the season at the plate, but he got a good pitch on a pitch from Chris Bassitt that hit the left-field wall for a double. But Baez didn’t run too far out of the box, thinking he’d hit the ball over the fence for his first home run of the year.
If that lack of haste wasn’t enough, Baez later didn’t realize how many outs there were when Akil Baddoo hit a line drive to center field that Daulton Varsho easily caught.
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Baez was running to third base as the crowd at Rogers Center quickly realized that he had no idea there was only one out instead of two. Varsho fired the ball back to second to double Baez, who couldn’t believe the mistake he had made.
When he returned to the dugout, Hinch motioned for Baez to follow him down the tunnel to the clubhouse, and that’s never a good sign for a player.
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Later, Baez came out of the tunnel, grabbed his things and took off his shirt as he made his way down the stairs. Those actions alone told you all you need to know: Hinch benched Baez.
Jonathan Schoop entered at third base in the bottom of the third inning, as Nick Maton moved in to replace Baez at shortstop.
This isn’t the only head-scratching baserunner Baez has had in this series. On Wednesday night, he missed a play when many thought he should have, and the Tigers weren’t happy.
Tigres de Báez’s career has not been very positive in the 156 games he has worn the uniform.
A two-time All-Star during his time with the Chicago Cubs, Baez signed a six-year, $140 million contract in December 2022 to bolster the team’s offense. But it’s been the exact opposite, as Baez has struggled at the plate since last season.
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He slashed .238/.278/393 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs in 144 games. He struck out 147 times, though he fell short of his 184 strikeouts, which was the fifth-worst in the MLB in 2021 with the Cubs and New York Mets.
Baez has drawn criticism from Tigers fans because some of those strikeouts and errors have been on pitches well outside the zone.
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This season, Baez is just 5-for-41 (.122) in 12 games with three walks and one RBI.