8/26 Rizzo back in No. 3 spot

Anthony Rizzo was back where he feels he belongs in the lineup, batting third for the Cubs, and hopes he is never inserted into the No. 2 spot again. Rizzo batted second for five games for the Cubs, and was 7-for-24, hitting two home runs in his first game there last Wednesday against the Nationals. Did it make a difference?

“No, it didn’t,” Rizzo said Monday. “It really didn’t, in my opinion. I was very uncomfortable there in the two-hole but it was what it was and hopefully, I never go back.”

What made it uncomfortable?

“It’s more an ego thing,” he said. “I’ve never hit second in my life. If you’re the second hitter, you’re someone who gets guys over and bunts and slaps and what not. I think our lineup doesn’t call for me hitting second. You see the Cardinals and [Carlos] Beltran hitting second but that’s because he has no where else to hit. I was there and I tried to make the best of it. Dale [Sveum] says it best, it’s just a spot in the lineup. I just didn’t like it much.”

When Sveum, the Cubs manager, made the switch, he said the change was not going to be long-term.

“Who knows if any of that stuff works,” Sveum said. “Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Rizzo was batting .177 with runners in scoring position, and part of the reason the move was made was to give him more at-bats without having to try to think about driving men in.

In December 2010, the Red Sox dealt Rizzo to the Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal. Rizzo was asked if he ever talked to Gonzalez about dealing with the ups and downs of the game.

“You can’t expect everyone to be Superman every day,” Rizzo said. “[Gonzalez] had a good year last year, just not an Adrian Gonzalez year. … You look at everyone’s career and they’ve had monster years and a down year.”

Does Rizzo feel he has to be Superman?

“I expect myself to be,” he said. “When the time is there, I’ll be where I need to be.”

– Carrie Muskat

8 Comments

Rizzo shouldn’t be so concerned about where he’s hitting in the lineup. He’s being paid a lot of money to drive in runs. He has certainly left a huge number of runners on the bases this year.

are you KIDDING ME? He didn’t get dropped to the eighth spot…and to say it’s an “ego thing.” EGO? What have you done to even DESERVE an ego? You got your extension & think you have enough “ego” to bitch about hitting SECOND? Seriously?

Sounds like there is a lot of tension in that clubhouse.

Hey, let’s be fair about what Rizzo said. You can’t be a major league ball player and not have an ego that is a little bigger than most of us. In this case he’s right. He should be in the 3 spot. Be thankful he is not afraid to speak the truth and accepts the responsibility that goes with that position in the lineup. I will concur that he should be doing better, but I really don’t see anyone else that would be better at that spot. I didn’t hear any of this negative ego talk when Castro was complaining about being moved to the 8 spot and wanted to lead off. Which is where he should be. The complaint should be directed to the person who makes the lineup card. He’s the one that created the controversy in the first place. Settle on a lineup. If they don’t perform, replace them. Don’t bounce them around like a game of jacks and expect them to buy into the lunacy. It shows a lack of baseball knowledge and understanding of how the game is played.

When the guys start complaining about things such as this, it displays clubhouse problems. When the manager gives into players complaints, it displays lack of leadership and dicipline.
I supported Sveum since day 1, but these kind of stories, reading between the lines is essential.

I am of the thought that these “trying” seasons are too much for even the great, calm, baseball minded Sveum to handle. He should be included with ALL the players that could be and SHOULD be removed from the team prior to a serious contending season. We need better players, we need a better manager as well.

As far as a new manager, I would not have agreed with you a month ago. After the Castro problems and Rizzo’s complaints, you could be right.
The manager is the Field General, if he is not respected, then there are bigger problems than just getting Castro to concentrate.

Pingback: Anthony Rizzo, Batting Order, Productive Outs and the Value of the Two-Hole | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

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