Updates from Monday, Sept. 15
Anthony Rizzo is returning to the Cubs' lineup today, the team confirmed:
Updates from Monday, Sept. 8
Anthony Rizzo spoke about his recovery on Monday via (Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times):
Rizzo says back is pain free. Took BP and ran (the key test, he said) without issue. Return weekend in Pit possible. "Homestand for sure"— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) September 8, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 3
The Cubs' official Twitter feed has the latest on Rizzo:
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 2
The Cubs' official Twitter feed reported on Rizzo's status for Tuesday's game:
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com has the results of an MRI Rizzo took, while Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago expands on how the Cubs view his status for the remainder of 2014:
MRI on #Cubs Rizzo reveals mild low back strain. Not shut down for season— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 2, 2014
Rizzo out indefinitely. Would be on the DL if not for expanded rosters. Theo says they aren't worried long term— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 2, 2014
WSCR-AM's Bill Levine, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat and ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers have more detail:
Rizzo said that it is no secret that he and Castro are the leaders who need to set the tone on the young Cub team .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) September 2, 2014
#Cubs Rizzo says main concern is coming back healthy next year. Glad MRI showed something "so I'm not going crazy"— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 2, 2014
Rizzo says he's hopeful to return but if he has to shut it down so be it. And yes he's excited for next yr considering talent they have now— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 2, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 1
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com confirmed Anthony Rizzo's absence from Monday's lineup:
#Cubs lineup: Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Soler RF, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Valaika 1B, Turner P— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 1, 2014
Rick Renteria later spoke about Rizzo's status (via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune):
RR said Rizzo unavailable, didn't rule out MRI if discomfort persists— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) September 1, 2014
Jesse Rogers of ESPN also provided the next steps for Rizzo:
Rizzo still day to day . If tightness in lower back continues he might get an MRI .— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 1, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Aug. 30
The Cubs confirmed Anthony Rizzo will not play in the team's first game today and announced his replacement:
Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times provides more on Rizzo's recovery:
Rizzo expects to shut it down for couple days and look at possible return from sore back during homestand. "Frustrating," he said.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) August 30, 2014
Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports Rizzo is out of the lineup:
#Cubs lineup: Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Soler RF, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Valaika 1B, Hendricks P— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 29, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 28
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com confirms Anthony Rizzo's status for today's afternoon affair against the Reds and added when he first started experiencing back stiffness:
#Cubs lineup Coghlan lf Baez 2b Castro ss Valbuena 3b Soler rf Alcantara cf Valaika 1b Baker c Arrieta p— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 28, 2014
#Cubs Rizzo says back tightened up during rain delay Tuesday. Hopes to return Friday— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 28, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
Anthony Rizzo's status for Wednesday's game against the Reds has been confirmed by the Cubs Twitter account:
Manager Rick Renteria added more details via Carrie Muskat of MLB.com:
#Cubs Renteria says Rizzo is "day to day." Hope that after treatment today, he'll be back in lineup Thursday— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 27, 2014
Anthony Rizzo started off Tuesday's game by hitting his 30th home run of the season. Unfortunately, he ended it by leaving early with an injury.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans provided the news:
Anthony Rizzo left game with lower back tightness #Reds— ctrent (@ctrent) August 27, 2014
Manager Rick Renteria talked about the injury after the Cubs' 3-0 win via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Renteria says he expects Rizzo to play Wednesday unless something unforeseen happens before then.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) August 27, 2014
After a mostly disappointing 2013 campaign, Rizzo has been fantastic this season. Entering Tuesday's contest, the first baseman was hitting .278/.376/.510 while chasing Giancarlo Stanton for the National League home run crown.
He hasn't just carried a big stick, though. As CBS Chicago's Bruce Levine argued, the 25-year-old has also been a vital part of the Cubs' improvement on defense:
Rizzo’s fine play has begun to challenge Paul Goldschmidt and Adrian Gonzalez for recognition as the best fielding first baseman in the National League. The numbers bear out some of the obvious numbers considered for a Gold Glove award. Entering play on Sunday, Rizzo led all major league first baseman in chances, (1200) assists, (102 ) and putouts (1089 ). He was also ranked fourth in double plays contributing to 94 twin-killings on defense.
The Cubs (59-72) aren't going anywhere this season, but with a stacked farm system, they are believed to be on the cusp of becoming a legitimate contender in the National League.
While youth is a large part of the reason for that optimism, Rizzo's play this season has been another. He looks ready to anchor this team for a long time.
Fortunately, the injury doesn't sound serious. Leaving the game was likely just a precautionary move from Chicago, which was leading by three runs at the time of Rizzo's departure.
If he is forced to miss any time, Chris Valaika would likely see some time at first base.