Javier Báez drawbacks are showing early for the Detroit Tigers

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers went out and spent a nice chunk of change to get their shortstop of the future. Javier Báez signed a six-year, $140 million contract to join the up-and-coming Tigers this offseason, and early on, there were known drawbacks.

After playing just five games, the Detroit Tigers are already seeing their new offseason addition headed to the Injured List (IL). With some thumb swelling and soreness, Báez needed additional time off, which has resulted in him missing games and being placed on the IL.

I’ll be the first to admit I was not thrilled with the signing of Báez but am trying to embrace it since he will benefit this team and be better than any of the other in-house options the Tigers have/had.

I’ll also be the first to admit I’ve enjoyed watching him in the five games he has played, but it’s also now starting to be one of those situations where we should have seen this coming. Báez will be back and end up getting back on track with performance, but the drawbacks are showing.

Detroit Tigers’ new addition Javier Báez is showing his drawbacks.

Báez is one of those players who will bring a lot of benefits to the Tigers, be a positive impact, and overall increase the Tigers’ level of play. But at the same time, some things really take away from the solid shortstop option that he can be.

It’s not breaking news or anything that’s really new. Rather things that are to be expected with the signing of Báez. Between some really flashy defensive plays and others that question his defensive prowess, a swing and miss issue and also durability is an issue for Báez.

In the five games that he did play, Báez logged 20 plate appearances, slashing .316/.350/.526 with two extra-base hits. It’s too early to deem him a lost cause, but it sure is tough to see him already spending time on the IL.

The Tigers knew exactly what they were getting with Báez, so it feels like a hypocritical thing to be complaining about this early. But when Báez returns, there has to be some thought that he will get back in the lineup and be a real threat to the opposition.

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Báez will be back soon, and the thumb soreness will have subsided, but it surely is not the way the team was hoping for him to start out the 2022 season and his first season in the Motor City.