Even after a five-strikeout game, the Cubs have no intentions of toning down the Javy Baez roller coaster.
It's just the latest chapter in the Javy being Javy story.
On Tuesday, Baez became the first Cubs player to whiff five times in a game since Ted Lilly in 2008 and first position player to do so since Geovany Soto (also in '08):
After the game, Joe Maddon just laughed, compared Baez to golfer John Daly again and said, "Javy must've tied some sort of record today."
The Cubs know this is part of the package with Baez.
Even with that albatross of a game, Baez's strikeout percentage of 27.8 is still slightly below his career average (29.3 percent). That number is bloated a bit since Baez struck out 41.5 percent of the time during his rookie season in 2014.
Baez is striking out more in 2017 than he did last year (24 percent), but is also walking more (5 percent compared to 3.3 percent in 2016).
When Maddon was filling out Wednesday's lineup before Tuesday's game, he had already penciled in a day off for Baez, even before the five-strikeout game made it apparent a day of mental and physical rest was needed for the 24-year-old.
"He was just swinging a bit too hard," Maddon said. "...Most of the time, for me, when a guy comes out of his zone a lot, it's because he's a little bit mentally fatigued. So let's get him off his feet."
Maddon said before the game he wouldn't shy away from using Baez in Wednesday's contest if the need arose. The Cubs manager also was not worried about the five-strikeout game getting the enigmatic young infielder down.
"He's fine," Maddon said. "He's done that a lot in his career. So he knows how to bounce back. It's not gonna impact him. I watch him run out to defense after the strikeouts, and he's running out there. I love that about him. He's ready to play.
"A lot of guys have that moment, historically, but the difference with Javy — two things — he'll play his defense and he'll bounce back.
"He's his own toughest critic, also. I have a lot of faith in him, I have a lot of faith in hitting coaches. He'll be fine. I really am not concerned. ... He's young, he's done it before, he'll do it again. I promise you — that's gonna happen again. In the mean time, just continue to support him."
Including Tuesday and Baez's recent 1-for-11 stretch, he's still hitting .321 with an .863 OPS in July and is on pace for 20 homers, 28 doubles and 64 RBI in addition to his usual highlight reel of defensive plays.
Baez will always come with ups and downs and the Cubs know that. They aren't trying to coach that out of him.
They'll take the five strikeout games along with the hot stretch, like when he hit .415 with seven extra-base hits in a 13-game stretch from July 2-21.
After all, this is the guy who was named co-NLCS MVP last fall.
"Javy continues to show a lot of improvement," Maddon said. "In spite of the John Daly hack on occasion, you look at his two-strike numbers, they're outstanding. [Baez is hitting .215 with a .568 OPS with two strikes, but does have five homers and 22 RBI.]
"So it's like, you gotta be careful what you wish for. I've already talked to [Cubs hitting coach] Johnny Mallee about this. You wanna tone somebody down, but then if you do, does this good thing go away? You wanna morph into it more slowly here as he gradually understands and creates a different method as he gts into the latter part of counts, runner on third base, just try to score one, not two or three."
In 15 at-bats with a runner on third and less than two outs, Baez has 11 RBI, but he's also struck out six times.
Maddon and the Cubs coaching staff are working on a lot of the same things with both Baez and 23-year-old shortstop Addison Russell, who has also had an up-and-down offensive season.
"That takes time," Maddon said. "I know that sounds crazy, but it does. And so, be careful what you wish for, be careful how you approach a young player. 'Cause you could absolutely — I've talked about not coaching instinctiveness out of a player.
"Javy's got his own way. I think you're eventually going to see him settle into it, but yes, they're being developed. They both have to adjust to game situations.
"Next year, you're gonna see an improvement. Two years from now, you're gonna see a pretty nice finished product."