3/14 Extra bases – UPDATED

* Anthony Rizzo was in the Cubs’ lineup for Friday’s game against Team Japan, but now he was not expected back in Arizona in time. He’ll play Saturday when the Cubs face the Royals at HoHoKam Park. Rizzo was playing for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic in Miami, and they were eliminated with a 4-3 loss to Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Cubs manager Dale Sveum told Rizzo to enjoy Thursday with his family in Miami and then get back to Arizona.

* The Cubs made one roster move, and assigned pitcher Barret Loux to Minor League camp.

* Ian Stewart played in a Minor League game Thursday at the Cubs complex at Fitch Park. Josh Vitters subbed at third on Thursday and was slated to start Friday against Team Japan at HoHoKam Stadium. Neither had played since an intrasquad game Feb. 21, and both have been sidelined with sore left quads.

* You won’t see shortstop Starlin Castro and second baseman Darwin Barney very far from each other. The two hit in the same group in batting practice, they do their fielding drills at the same time, and they even have the same model glove, which Barney designed.

“They always have to be in the same group,” Sveum said of his middle infielders. “They have a routine that they got into last year that was good and obviously, the way they played, you don’t want to take them out of it.”

* The Cubs players are already talking about the prospect of having a fishing hole at their new Spring Training complex in east Mesa.

“We might have to have a fishing tournament,” Sveum said.

The facility will feature a 9,000 square foot weight room, which Sveum said some players may want to take advantage of year round. He couldn’t remember the Brewers having a weight room at all when he played for them.

“I never lifted weights,” Sveum said, “so I wouldn’t have known where the weight room was.”

— Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

Congrats to team Italy and Rizzo. They played well. It will be good to see Rizzo back in our games on Friday. I am sure he will have many fascinating stories to tell his teammates and will also have many wonderful memories for his lifetime. As for Stewart and Vitters – for some reason I have the feeling that Stewart will not be fully prepared for opening day, if at all – and may even be injured further. Just a gut feeling. Vitters will probably be starting at AAA anyway and will have more time to heal. Valbueno seems to be coming on strong both on base and at bat. We will surely need him.

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