ST. LOUIS — Javier Baez is taking a detour on his road to Wrigley Field.
A Cubs official confirmed the Triple-A Iowa shortstop went onto the disabled list on Sunday with a left ankle sprain. Baseball America’s No. 5 overall prospect turned his ankle while taking groundballs before Friday’s game in Memphis.
After a strong showing in spring training — impressing Cubs coaches and executives with his talent and professional attitude — Baez hasn’t picked up where he left off last season.
Baez was hitting .154 with 10 strikeouts in 26 at-bats for Iowa, though two of his four hits have been home runs. Last weekend, he got ejected from a game for arguing a check-swing call, and then got into a dugout dispute with veteran catcher Eli Whiteside.
Baez is only 21 years old, which is very young for the Pacific Coast League. He put up 37 homers and 111 RBI in 130 games at advanced Class-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last season. The Cubs hope he’ll prove he’s ready to make his big-league debut later this season.