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An update on Javier Báez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and other former Cubs

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You still follow these guys, so let’s have another look.

He looks weird in that Giants uniform
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Last week, I posted this update on how Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester and Kyle Schwarber were doing with their new teams — all five were traded at the deadline. I thought that might be a one-off, but it proved popular, and I had some requests to continue.

So for the rest of the year, I’ll be doing this once a week. Please note: I’m doing this simply because Cubs fans are interested in these players. Don’t imply or infer anything else from this series of articles.

Anthony Rizzo

Rizzo is still on the COVID-19 list and hasn’t played since August 7. Here’s the latest on his condition:

If all goes well with his cardiac workup on Monday, Anthony Rizzo could begin what should be a short ramp up later that day.

The first baseman, acquired by the Yankees prior to the trade deadline, has been on the COVID-19 injured list since Aug. 8.

“He was feeling a lot better, even [Saturday],” Aaron Boone said before the Yankees’ 7-5 win over the White Sox on Saturday night in Chicago. “I don’t think he’ll need a lot [of time]. But we’ll see. Let’s see where he’s at physically. He hasn’t been able to do a lot the first five or six days of being out.”

Rizzo is hitting .281/.400/.563 (9-for-32) in nine games for the Yankees with three home runs.

Javier Báez

Javy injured himself on a swing August 8 vs. the Phillies. He pinch-hit against the Nationals two days later (he struck out) and then the Mets placed him on the injured list Friday, August 13, citing back spasms as the reason, so he’s out at least another week.

Báez is hitting .171/.216/.343 (6-for-35) in 10 games for the Mets with two home runs and 14 strikeouts.

Kris Bryant

In 14 games for the Giants, KB is hitting .288/.351/.442 (15-for-52) with five doubles, a home run, eight runs scored and two stolen bases.

His OPS (.793) is lower than it was with the Cubs (.861) where he had a .267/.358/.503 slash. A bit higher BA, roughly the same OBP, lower SLG with the Giants. Small sample size, of course. He has 19 home runs overall and it’d take a huge September to get him to 30.

Bryant didn’t start Sunday’s game, then entered as a pinch-hitter, reached on an error and scored a run. He had batted for Alex Dickerson, so it was assumed he’d stay in the game to play left field, but that didn’t happen. Instead:

Oh.

Jon Lester

Jon had his best start as a Cardinal Saturday against the Royals, throwing 5⅔ innings and allowing seven hits and one run. Overall with St. Louis, he has a 6.75 ERA and 1.750 WHIP in three starts covering 16 innings.

We will probably see him at least once in September against the Cubs, perhaps twice. The Cubs still have seven games remaining vs. St. Louis, four at Wrigley Field, three at Busch Stadium.

Kyle Schwarber

It was reported late last week that Schwarber was going to be sent to Triple-A Worcester to begin a rehab assignment from his hamstring injury. Apparently he talked Boston’s brass out of it:

He was supposed to make a rehab start on Thursday in Worcester, but it rained out. A day later, he was in the Red Sox’ lineup, batting sixth as the designated hitter.

It’s a decision both parties felt comfortable with, and speaks to a level of urgency on both sides.

“We’re very comfortable with it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “And we’re still going to protect him. It’s not a rehab big-league game, it’s a real big-league game, but we know that he controls the strike zone, he can hit the ball out of the ballpark, and he’ll be smart about running the bases.”

Kyle thus made his Red Sox debut Friday against the Orioles. He went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and scored two runs. He started again at DH Sunday and went 2-for-4 (both doubles) with a run scored, so overall 2-for-6 (.333) with two doubles and three runs scored.