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Báez could return if Cubs make playoffs

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SAN DIEGO — The Chicago Cubs could get All-Star shortstop Javier Báez back if they reach the playoffs.

Báez saw a hand specialist in Chicago who confirmed the slugger has a hairline fracture of his left thumb. He is expected to miss the rest of this month, but the team says he will continue his rehab in hopes of playing in October.

The slumping Cubs headed into Monday’s game at San Diego in the NL’s second wild-card slot.

With Báez and Addison Russell sidelined, touted prospect Nico Hoerner was promoted from Double-A Tennessee and got the start for the series opener against the Padres.

The 22-year-old Hoerner was selected in the first round of last year’s draft out of Stanford. He is the first member of the 2018 draft class to join a big league roster.

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