In the top of the third inning, Anthony Rizzo suffered an injury running out a ground ball. The play involved a high, errant throw by the Astros second baseman led the first baseman into Rizzo’s path just as the Cubs star rookie was making a long, reaching stride to try to beat the throw. One of Rizzo’s legs were yanked out from underneath him, while Brett Wallace’s leg seemed to catch Rizzo in the head. The result was Rizzo taking a rough tumble to the ground, landing on the backside of his shoulder area.
Surely Cub fans watching the game either in Houston or on tv held their breath. Some may have immediately recalled an incident nine years ago, when another big left handed hitting first base prospect was trying to live up to the hype. In 2003, Hee Seop Choi collided with Kerry Wood chasing a pop fly in the infield. Choi ended up slamming his head on the ground and had been knocked out cold.
After a few minutes on the ground and being examed by team medical staff, Rizzo was able to walk off of the field with some assistance. While it is a far less concerning exit from the playing field compared to Choi being stretchered off into an ambulance, it should be noted that Rizzo seemed slightly woozy.
Choi projected to have more power than Rizzo, while Rizzo has the slight edge with a more well rounded game. Choi ended up never quite being the same in a short MLB career, with his time as a Cub ending that off season when he was dealt for future fan favorite Derrek Lee. I do not see Rizzo suffering the same disappointment that Choi had career wise, but hopefully his growth as a player is not slowed one bit from an injury that could have some concussion concerns. The focus of the Cubs post July trade deadline has rightfully been on the future and the hyped up prospects we have been hearing about over the last couple years. But just in a span of a couple weeks, we have seen a pair of injuries occur, with Brett Jackson being on the losing end of a collision with the outfield wall in Washington. I have refused to believe in a curse, so let us snuff out any talk of that before it starts.
The early word passed along from the broadcast team of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly in the fifth inning is that Rizzo is currently experiencing soreness in the shoulder and just general soreness. The key here is that there is no talk of a concussion, which as many fans know, has been a big focus in terms of maintaining the health of athletes of all sports over the last few years.