Extras

Extras

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs top prospect Javier Baez belted his third spring home run Wednesday night, launching a pitch to left that nearly hit the scoreboard at Peoria Stadium.

"It's nothing out of the ordinary from what I've seen," Chicago's Mike Olt said of Baez. "I've really never seen anything like him. He's definitely a special player. I'm used to it now. He's in my [batting practice] group, so I see it every day."

The Cubs have had to be careful where Baez and Olt hit during batting practice at the team's complex. Baez's home runs have broken two car windows so far.

"He's definitely fun to watch," Olt said. "A bunch of the other guys coming up are fun to watch, too."

Expect to see Baez at second base next week as the Cubs get a look at the young infielder at different positions.

Jason Hammel and Eric Jokisch each faced Minor League hitters at the Cubs' complex on Thursday to stay on schedule. It was an off-day for the rest of the team.

Looking ahead to split-squad games in Las Vegas against the Mets, Chris Rusin will start on Saturday and Carlos Pimentel is scheduled to go Sunday. Jeff Samardzija will face James Shields and the Royals on Saturday in Surprise, Ariz., and Travis Wood will go Sunday against the Indians at Cubs Park.

• The D-backs returned right-handed pitcher Marcos Mateo to the Cubs on Thursday per Rule 5 Draft guidelines. Arizona selected Mateo last December, and he appeared in four Cactus League games, giving up five hits, one walk and striking out three over four innings. Mateo, 29, appeared in 13 big league games with the Cubs over two seasons, 2010-11, but he has struggled with elbow problems. Players selected in the Rule 5 Draft must stay on the Major League roster the entire season or be offered back to their previous club.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.