2/14 Thursday first watch
* Anthony Rizzo doesn’t know his exact schedule yet regarding the World Baseball Classic. The Cubs’ first baseman will be playing for Team Italy, which is in the same pool as the U.S. team, Canada and Mexico. Italy’s first game is March 7 against Mexico at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Italy will then play Canada on March 8, and face the U.S. on March 9. The Italian team has yet to name a manager.
* The Cubs would like to play more night games but the topic has been tabled. The team currently plays 30 night games out of the 81 home dates. Alderman Tom Tunney, who represents the Wrigley area, did not bring up the topic at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, preferring to have the Cubs address parking, traffic and security issues in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.
“Me, personally, I like the day games,” Rizzo said. “It’s the routine I get in at home. I feel night games would throw me off a little bit. But if there are more night games, I’d get into that routine. I personaly like the day games.”
Does he see the ball better at night at Wrigley?
“I don’t think I’ve played enough games to state my opinion yet,” he said. “It doesn’t matter, day or night, it’s still baseball.’
Rizzo batted .257 at night last season and .312 in day games.
* Tony Campana has yet to find a new team after being designated for assignment on Sunday. Rizzo said the move may benefit the outfielder.
“I think it’ll be good, a fresh start,” Rizzo said. “I just told him to keep his head up. He’s a good player. He’ll be successful.”
Campana, moved to make room on the roster for Scott Hairston, is fast, but has had trouble getting on base consistently to utilize his speed.
“I can think of teams in my head right away who could bring him in,” Rizzo said. “I think right now, our team isn’t a fit for him. We need more power than speed.”
* Dayan Diaz reported to camp on Thursday. The only pitcher missing is Hector Rondon, who has been delayed because of visa problems. He was expected in Mesa on Friday. Position players must report by Saturday. So far, the list of players yet to arrive include Javier Baez, Starlin Castro, Junior Lake, Ian Stewart, Luis Valbuena, Josh Vitters, Jorge Soler and Alfonso Soriano.
– Carrie Muskat