A.J. Hinch sends message to Detroit Tigers players after benching Javier Baez

When Detroit Tigers SS Javier Baez forgot how many outs there were on Thursday night, resulting in him getting doubled up at second base, manager A.J. Hinch had seen enough. When Baez came back to the dugout, Hinch brought him into the tunnel and notified his 6-year, $140 million player that he was being benched. Following the game, Hinch spoke to reporters and explained that benching Baez was a message to the entire team.

A.J. Hinch Javier Baez Detroit Tigers

Key Points

  • Javier Baez forgot how many outs there were on Thursday night against the Blue Jays
  • Hinch made the decision to bench Baez
  • Following the game, Hinch explained that benching Baez was a message to the entire team

What Happened?

During the second inning of Thursday's game against the Blue Jays, Baez scorched a ball off the fence, but he failed to run hard out of the box because he thought it was a home run. Then, moments later, Baez forgot how many outs there were and he was doubled up at second base on a routine fly ball. After the game, Baez said the reason why he forgot how many outs there were was that he was batting sixth in the lineup.

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A.J. Hinch sends message to team after benching Bavier Baez

While speaking to reporters after the game, Hinch explained that benching Baez was not only about Baez, but it was a message to everybody on the team.

“It's not even really all about Javy,” Hinch said. “If you watch the last couple of series, we've made a number of mental mistakes, and the one thing we can control is our preparedness and our readiness. Javy happened to be the runner that made the big mistake where I made the move, but it's a message to our whole team that we've got to clean that up. We can control it.”

Hinch went on to say that his intention was not to embarrass Baez, but mental mistakes are not acceptable.

“I don't want to embarrass anybody,” said Hinch, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Báez. “I don't want to lessen our bench. I don't want to take out one of our starters who's a premium player. But I also don't want to see a team make mental mistakes.”

Bottom Line: Mental mistakes are unacceptable in the Big Leagues

Physical errors are going to happen but when you are getting paid millions of dollars, mental errors are absolutely unacceptable. This is especially true for a team that needs all the help they can get to win baseball games. Hopefully, Hinch benching Baez is enough to make sure that these types of mental mistakes don't happen again moving forward.

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