Detroit Tigers SS Javier Baez explains why he took early day off

Detroit Tigers SS Javier Baez was not supposed to have Monday's game off, but the plan changed.

In an unexpected move, Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Baez requested an early day off for Monday's series opener against the Kansas City Royals. Struggling with his performance throughout the season, Baez expressed the need to “clear my mind.”

Javier Baez Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers SS Javier Baez explains why he took early day off

The Tigers initially planned to rest him for Thursday's finale against the Royals, but Baez asked to work in the batting cage during the series opener instead. Manager A.J. Hinch honored his request and reshuffled the schedule.

“He told me take the day today and switch it with the other one (the scheduled off day),” Báez said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I'm fine with that.' I'm going to clear my mind and restart with the approach again.”

Baez is hitting .220 with six home runs in 88 games, while posting an abysmal .575 OPS. Despite these challenges, both Baez and the Tigers remain hopeful for a turnaround, emphasizing the importance of mental clarity and approach adjustments.

“I just got to make adjustments,” Báez said. “I got to play better. The boys are playing good.”

Whiffing on Fastballs

According to Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, Baez is batting just .169 with one home run and a 34.4% whiff rate against all four-seam fastballs, which is almost unheard of.

“I think some of that is mechanical and him getting in a good position,” Hinch said. “I think the majority of it is trying to cover every bit of the strike zone and areas around the strike zone at the same time. Once we can get his mentality to shift, to stick with his plan, it can click for him. When he gets hot, he gets white-hot. That's obviously something we're looking for.”

Key Points

  • Javier Baez requested an early day off to “clear my mind” amid ongoing performance struggles.
  • He has been hitting .220 with six home runs and 84 strikeouts in 88 games this season, with a .575 OPS.
  • The Tigers initially planned to rest him for Thursday's game but accommodated his request for Monday's series opener.
  • Baez's challenges include a .169 batting average against four-seam fastballs and chasing down-and-away sliders.
  • The team is hopeful that adjustments in his approach and mental clarity will lead to improvements.
Javier Baez Detroit Tigers

Bottom Line – Seeking Redemption

Javier Baez's early day off is not a sign of defeat but rather a proactive step toward redemption. As a talented player, he possesses the ability to turn his season around and become a force to be reckoned with once again. The Tigers stand by their shortstop, knowing that when Baez finds his rhythm, his impact on the game will be substantial. As the season progresses, all eyes will be on Baez as he seeks to regain his form and contribute to the team's success. With that being said, Baez really has not given us, or the Tigers, any reason to believe that he will turn things around anytime soon. So now, we hope for a miracle.