Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez was forced to leave Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves after injuring himself while sliding head-first into second base.

Baez, who has taken over the Cubs’ shortstop role with Addison Russell on the shelf, was forced to leave the game after he slid head-first into Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies’ shin. Baez tried to continue playing, but he was eventually removed from the game and was replaced by Mike Freeman.

Baez was removed from the game not because of concussion symptoms, but because of blurred vision in his eye. The team says he will fly to Pittsburgh on Monday: 

The Cubs have been relying heavily on Baez for several weeks, as Russell continues to deal with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The shortstop experienced a setback this week, and is expected to be on the shelf for another three weeks, the team says.

If Baez is forced to go on the disabled list, even if it’s the special seven-day concussion disabled list, then it would mean that Freeman could become the starting shortstop. Ben Zobrist could also get time at the position, with Ian Happ likely taking the majority of reps at second base in that situation.  

Published 52 minutes ago | Updated 36 minutes ago

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