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 

5 Comments

I don’t know anything about this guy, but his comments seem a little … a-holeish? I mean, calling yourself the first baseman of the future, when your teammate is starting over you (and also very young) seems a bit narcissistic.

I think Rizzo is referring to how he has been labled BY OTHERS when he mentions being the first baseman of the future, first for the RedSox, then the Padres and now the Cubs. Also LaHair by baseball standards is no longer VERY young. I think he’s 27? I’m a big LaHair supporter because he proved he should get A CHANCE to be the starting first baseman, he hasn’t proved he should be the first basman for years to come (yet), hence Rizzo STILL being looked at by EVERYBODY as the first baseman of the future. Can’t blame him after all the men in suits naming him such and trading for him over and over again.

I hear you, joey. Still, it’s kind of like when people refer to themselves in the third person. Anyway, like I said, I know nothing about him. He could very well be a great and humble guy.

Bryan LeHair is 29. Joey is right. He has earned the right to start. In business, and baseball is a business, there must be a contingency or back up plan. That plan at first base is named Rizzo. For Rizzo to refer to himself as the first baseman of the future just means he was the same thing another place and now he is labeled that with the Cubs. No ego, no orafice, just the way it is.

Let’s hope LaHair has a dynamite year and forces the Cubs to decide what to do with him….such as convert him to a left fielder, bring up Rizzo and launch Soriano. The Cubs have trotted out so many “non-outfielders” (now DeWitt??) and BAD outfielders (Soriano) why not put somebody out there that can at least be an all around better threat at the plate than Soriano and not much worse (if at all) defensively than Soriano? This is of course if BOTH LaHair and Rizzo (in AAA) tear up the place. That after all would be the best case scenerio. Soriano’s time has come…for DH’ing!

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