The first week of the season has seen Rizzo struggle at the plate. While frustrating, this is nothing to worry about. This has happened to him before as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
The baseball season is 162 grueling games starting in late March and ending in October. The Chicago Cubs are only through one week of the season, and of course, there is already some frustration. Everyone wants to come out of the gates hot, but there are plenty of reasons to not worry. One topic being Anthony Rizzo‘s hitting.
Rizzo has not started the last two games in Milwaukee due to back stiffness. It seems precautionary, so expect him back in the line up soon. Though what sticks out to many is his .107/.219/.214 slash and seven strikeouts in his first six games of the season.
A slow start to the season
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The first week or so typically has been slow for him in his career. Also being down in his native
Florida for the first four games probably had emotional effects on him. Slow starts have never stopped Anthony Rizzo from being an All-Star caliber player as he has put up very consistent numbers over the years.
A trend that should not worry people.
Here are some stat lines to show what Rizzo was doing offensively to start the last four seasons.
2017: .172/.294/.207 in first seven games
2016: .240/.424/.560 in first seven games
2015: .238/.433/.238 in first seven games
2014: .190/.292/.333 in first four games
Granted some of the on-base percentages have been higher, but the trend of him not batting very high has been consistently there. He usually comes around the following weeks and starts being Rizzo again.
His overall March/April slash in his career is .250/.379/.868 with 29 home runs, which averages out to about six homers the first month per season. Despite all of these starts, the last four years (2014-2017) he has totaled a .282/.387/.522 slash 612 games.
If he gets back starting again after a few days with back tightness, expect the same things. It is hard to picture a guy who has been as consistent as it gets the past four years continue to dip. Plus, if he was having some minor back issues, he can very well return and start crushing it right away when he feels 100%.