3/23 Rizzo sent to Minors
Anthony Rizzo was batting .364 in Spring Training with two homers but his path to the big leagues is blocked by Bryan LaHair. On Friday, Rizzo was assigned to the Cubs’ Minor League camp.
For Rizzo to have success this spring is huge, especially after he batted .141 in 49 games with the Padres last season.
“I think right now he’s bubbling with confidence and it’ll carry over there,” Dale Sveum said.
“People who know me, and know about last year, everyone is going to write me off — ‘Oh, he can’t hit,'” Rizzo said. “People who know me know what happened was a bad thing. I’m not too worried about it and I’m just happy to be up here back on the field in the big league atmosphere. It was a good experience.”
A left-handed batter, he went 5-for-10 against lefty pitching, which was encouraging.
“My approach is getting there,” he said.
Sveum and GM Jed Hoyer had made it clear they were committed to LaHair as the Cubs first baseman and Rizzo would likely open in the Minor Leagues.
“Nothing’s concrete in this business,” Rizzo said. “Last year, I was the future first baseman for the Padres and now I’m the future first baseman for the Cubs. I can’t control if I go down and hit 1.000, 40 home runs — who knows what’s going to happen? I’m going to go down and work hard and prepare myself for the next step.
“Unfortunately, I got sent down but in the big picture, this is probably a little hiccup in the road,” he said.
This is Rizzo’s third team. He was drafted by the Red Sox, traded to the Padres, and then dealt to the Cubs.
“I came in and I wanted to impress everyone,” Rizzo said. “It’s a new organization again. Everyone hears about you and sees a little video. I feel really good about everything and just want to keep building.”
— Carrie Muskat