Mar. 16, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) hits a solo home run during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Anthony Rizzo is man that is battle-tested. The 22 year old leukemia survivor has already been a part of the three organization. Some would suggest that it is during that time-span that Cubs’ president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer grew a fondness for the first base prospect. Rizzo, once a top prospect for both the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres organization, now is a member of the Cubs’ organization. The expectations for Rizzo with the Cubs’ organization likely far exceeds the expectations that were casted on him when he was a member of the Red Sox and Padres’ organization. To simplify it, Rizzo is the most popular player that is a part of the Cubs’ organization. Needless to say, Rizzo has yet to make his debut for the Cubs.
There was brief moment in time on Sunday night, when Rizzo was believed to be on the verge of making his debut for the Cubs. Though, we later discovered that the reason Rizzo left the Iowa Cubs game on Sunday was due to a wrist injury. The misconception about Rizzo and his potential promotion to the Major League level was due in large part to the Iowa Cubs twitter feed that suggested that the reason Rizzo left the game was not injury related.
With the Rizzo firestorm reaching a near boiling point, Cubs’ President Theo Epstein addressed the Rizzo rumors on Monday prior to the Cubs snapping their 12 game losing streak with their victory against the Padres.
"“We’re not going to rush him,” President Theo Epstein said. “We’re going to wait until the time is right, with his development being the primary factor.” Chicago Tribune"
Take a moment to think about Epstein’s comments about Rizzo. Epstein did not say that Rizzo wasn’t Major League and the first baseman would not be called up until he is. Instead, Epstein said that Rizzo is going to be promoted when the time is right. In fact, Rizzo’s .354/.415/.713/1.128 line with the Iowa Cubs to go along with his 17 home runs proves that Rizzo is deserving of call up. But as Epstein said, the time has to be right.
May 29, 2o12 is not the right. But any date after June 21, 2012 could be considered as the right time for Rizzo. What is the difference between the now and then for Rizzo? The difference is one that could cost the Cubs an extra $10 million. With the Cubs waiting until after June 21 to promote Rizzo, the Cubs would ensure that they would control the first baseman through the 2018 season. Meaning Rizzo would not reach free agent status after the 2017 season. It may be difficult to see the importance to this process for the Cubs. Figure that Rizzo is not going to give the Cubs season any purpose in 2012. But in 2017 and 2018, when the Cubs figure to be in contention, Rizzo figures to be one of the cornerstones of the Cubs. Meaning it would be highly beneficial for the team to have an extra year of control over the first baseman.
Rizzo’s wrist injury with the Iowa Cubs is not believed to be serious and the first baseman should return to the I-Cubs lineup before the week concludes.