MINNEAPOLIS – Not only was Anthony Rizzo not on the roster for a Cubs series in an American League park, he won’t be on it for the second and final one either.
Manager Dale Sveum said Friday that Rizzo isn’t expected to be called upon when the Cubs play across town at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox in a three-game series that starts June 18.
It was just last month when Sveum suggested Rizzo could get his first chance in a Cubs uniform when the club used the designated hitter in American League parks. That first series started Friday against the Twins.
Sveum said last weekend, when the team was at San Francisco, that Rizzo wouldn’t be coming up, going against his previous suggestion. So was there ever any consideration of Rizzo playing in the current series?
“We thought better of it and obviously we didn’t do it,” Sveum said. “And there are no plans to do it against the White Sox either.”
Rizzo is still working his way back to full strength after missing a few games with a sore wrist. He is back in the lineup at Triple-A Iowa but hasn’t hit a home run since the injury occurred.
“I think we have to be careful thinking he’s going to hit a home run every other day,” Sveum said. “When you have those kind of numbers after 200 at-bats you’re going to be hard pressed to get something to hit.”
There was some suggestion that perhaps Rizzo was not being considered for the series at Minnesota because Target Field isn’t very accommodating to power hitters. But that idea is nixed since he won’t play at the White Sox’s power-friendly park.
While it may not seem like it to some Cubs fans, there is a plan to eventually give Rizzo a chance.
"It’s just more of when that day is going to happen, when is the right time and all of that," Sveum said. "You don’t sit down and say should we do it tomorrow. We haven’t done anything like that. It’s obviously a subject."