The Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo left in the seventh inning of yesterday’s game with back tightness. We also have an update to Willson Contreras, Kendall Graveman and Ben Zobrist.
The Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo left the game yesterday after experiencing ‘mid-back’ tightness. It caught Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon by surprise. Backup catcher Johnathan Lucroy was standing in the area of Maddon and was told to grab a bat because he was hitting for Rizzo.
Lucroy stayed in the game at catcher, and the current backstop Victor Caratini moved to first base for Rizzo. This was a perfect scenario with all things considered. Maddon is operating with a three-man bench to have an extra pitcher available in the bullpen.
"“[Head athletic trainer P.J. Mainville] came to me in the dugout and just told me where it got tight,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after the loss. “That’s all I have right now. I don’t know enough yet. It happened so quickly. That’s why, of course, Lucroy was just hanging out and I said, ‘You’re hitting,’ and he goes up there and has a great at-bat. But there was no indicator that something was wrong.” h/t Jordan Bastian, MLB.com"
Rizzo had dealt with tightness in his back before, including a case he had with it in Cincinnati due to the beds in the hotel in 2018. He’s also missed four games in May with a similar back injury. He’s been a significant piece to the Cubs success, hitting a .290/.402/.526 slash line with 25 home runs and 82 RBIs. His status is unclear for today’s series finale with the Nationals who have taken the first two.
We updated you on Willson Contreras yesterday, but we have some news on that. Contreras has begun a throwing program, along with running and agility. He’s throwing from home to second base standing and from a squat, and also to the edge of the infield grass.
Remember the name Kendall Graveman? You might not if you didn’t see him sign in the winter. Graveman had been on the 60-day IL recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was expected to miss the entire 2019 season, and he might not pitch for the major league club.
But he’s in the Arizona League, and he threw three impressive innings. He allowed just one run on three hits but struck out six of the 12 men he faced. He’s signed through 2019 with a club option for 2020.
And in Ben Zobrist news, he’s scheduled to be activated before September 1 when playoff rosters are expanded. See you soon, Zo.