Monday, June 4, 2012
Cubs nix Rizzo plan for AL parks
By Doug Padilla
So much for the idea that Anthony Rizzo might make his Chicago Cubs debut over the weekend when the club needs a designated hitter at Minnesota.
Don't expect to see Anthony Rizzo in the Cubs lineup for the next two weeks of interleague play at American League parks.
Dale Sveum, who said last month that Rizzo might be recalled for interleague games in American League ballparks, now is telling reporters in San Francisco that there are no plans for the Triple-A slugger to come up this week.
That could change because of injury, of course, but for now the plan is to have Alfonso Soriano serve as the designated hitter this weekend against the Twins and June 18-20 at U.S. Cellular Field against the Chicago White Sox.
The Cubs are sticking to their plan of letting Rizzo get all the development they deem necessary at Triple-A Iowa. They are not admitting that by having him on the roster for more than 104 days this season it would make Rizzo eligible for agency in 2017 instead of 2018.
Rizzo has clearly shown that he is ready for another chance in the major leagues. He struggled in a big league opportunity for the San Diego Padres last season.
The left-handed hitter is batting .356 with a 1.128 OPS, 17 home runs and 46 RBIs at Triple-A Iowa.
There is also no plan to recall Rizzo unless he has a spot to play every day. He only plays first base, but Bryan LaHair is there and is one of the team’s few run producers. LaHair has played left field in the past, although not that recently, but Soriano is there and has not only been producing over the past three weeks but is also making $19 million this season.
Rizzo has recently returned to the Iowa lineup after missing a few days with a sore wrist.