4/20 Extra bases: Baez, Riz, Olt & more
* Top prospect Javier Baez was activated from Triple-A Iowa’s disabled list on Sunday and in the lineup as the designated hitter. Baez had not played since April 10. He injured his left ankle taking ground balls on April 11. In eight games, Baez was 4-for-26 with two home runs and 10 strikeouts.
* Anthony Rizzo entered Sunday’s game batting .464 at Wrigley Field, while teammate Starlin Castro was hitting .424 at home. They rank among the National League leaders in home batting average.
“Their two-strike approaches are pretty good,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Rizzo and Castro. “‘Riz’ in particular with two strikes is choking up a little now and trying not to be so pull conscious and takes what they give him. It’s more of a mindset. You have to make an adjustment and as you improve as big league players, you know there are things you have to work on.
“He’s come to a conclusion that some of the things he’s doing are helping him,” Renteria said. “With offense, there are peaks and valleys to them, but so far, he’s had a consistent approach.”
* Renteria abandoned his usual lefty-righty platoon on Sunday, and has Mike Olt starting at third base against righty Homer Bailey.
“I’ve been trying over time with all the guys to give them some days when they go back to back,” Renteria said. “It gives them a better view and a little more comfortable. The reality is they’re going to face lefties and righties, and you’ve got to give them an opportunity to use some games back to back to get some kind of comfort.”
* The Cubs will celebrate Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary on Wednesday. Sue Quigg, grand-niece of former Cubs owner Charles Weeghman, will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch, and use the 100-year-old ball her grandmother Dessa Weeghman threw at a Chi-Feds game a century ago. The first 30,000 fans will receive replica Chi-Feds jerseys, and the first 10,000 fans will get a birthday cupcake.
– Carrie Muskat