Addison Russell was having a second straight below par season, with injuries to the middle finger on his left hand and his right shoulder hampering the Chicago Cubs shortstop.
However, following new domestic abuse allegations from his former wife, Addison was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball on Friday, placing his role as part of the younger core of Cubs in flux.
The Cubs are banned from imposing their discipline on Russell during the MLB investigation in the allegations brought by Melisa Reidy-Russel that will likely take at least a week to complete. The on and now off-field struggles by Russell make his status over the long-term vulnerable.
Chicago is likely to end the season with Baez playing short. They have four second basemen that are adequate including Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist, Tommy La Stella and David Bote.
Russell, who is just 24, has not neared the production he had during 2016 when he smacked 21 homes and had 95 RBIs.
Last season Russell played just 110 games after missing six weeks due to an injured foot and three games following the initial domestic abuse allegations of his then wife, coming to light via a third party through social media.
The Cubs chose to keep the young group of players together after offers received were underwhelming while seeking young starting pitching during the offseason last year.
Even if the situation with Russel is resolved in an amicable manner, the Cubs must decide if they want to keep Russell, whose offense dropped for the second straight season.
Russell is currently hitting .250 with five homers and 38 RBIs, but has not homered since late June, which is four weeks after sustaining his finger injury.
Team President Theo Epstein said he spoke to MLB after he read the blog by Reidy-Russell and he spoke to league officials again prior to letting Russell know what his status was.
Russell, in a statement the MLB Players Association released after Russell was placed on administrative leave, said the allegations were false and last year he made that clear to officials in Major League Baseball.
He added in the statement that protecting his children is the most important thing for him and therefore will not make any further comment.