LOS ANGELES — Javier Baez received a strong endorsement in his quest to make the transition from shortstop to second base from someone who has seen him up close.
That's Chris Valaika, who moved to shortstop at Triple-A Iowa when Baez, one of the Cubs' marquee prospects, moved to second to expand his versatility and improve his chances of a major league promotion.
"He has done a great job," said Valaika, who was promoted Friday to the Cubs to take the roster spot of the traded Emilio Bonifacio. "That transition has been very smooth for him. The more and more he does it, he's going to get better and better.
"He's a professional … and that transition has been seamless."
Despite Valaika's endorsement and the hype surrounding Baez, 21, who has hit 21 home runs and 78 RBIs at Iowa, Cubs manager Rick Renteria concurred with general manager Jed Hoyer's firm statement that Baez wouldn't be promoted soon.
"There's no hurry, not any pressure to do anything right now," Renteria said. "When the move is made with him, whenever that is, it will be because everyone has drawn a clear consensus that (it's) right for him and for us."
Happy homecoming: Valaika's promotion couldn't have been timelier because he grew up about 30 minutes north of Dodger Stadium in Newhall, Calif.
"You always stay up on where everyone is at," said Valaika, 28, who batted .278 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs and played five positions with Iowa. "It couldn't have happened any better, to have a homecoming like that. You can't make that up."
Valaika, who spent parts of three seasons with the Reds (2010-11) and Marlins (2013), said this promotion was special because his father, Jeff, is a Chicago native and grew up a Cubs fan.
Reliever Blake Parker was promoted from Iowa to take the roster spot of traded reliever James Russell.
Jeter's judgment: Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano said he followed the advice of Yankees star Derek Jeter from a magazine that helped him to leave the game at the ballpark and not be consumed with baseball after them.
"(Jeter) watches sports, but he doesn't watch baseball off the field," Ruggiano said. "He tries to differentiate the two. You get more of a well-rounded life and aren't constantly trying to think about what can happen or how can you do this when you get home.
"You get to work, do your job and don't take your job with you, and that's the approach I've taken for the last five to six years."
Ruggiano said having a wife and two children also helps with the transition.
"I can remember when I didn't have a family to go home to," said Ruggiano, who broke into the majors with the Rays in 2007 but didn't stay in the majors for good until 2013 with the Marlins.
"The wheels kept churning on my game and what I did wrong, what I did right," Ruggiano recalled. "And I think when you get home and have (a family) to spend time with, you don't have time to think about it. So it has helped me in the long run for a lot of reasons."