Anthony Rizzo Blames Cincinnati Hotel Bed for Back Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2018

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 05:  Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs at bat during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 5, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The Cubs defeated the Brewers 8-0.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a back injury, suggested a Cincinnati hotel bed contributed to his issues.

"I think the next time I go [to Cincinnati], I'll sleep on the floor," he said, per ESPN.com. "I just have to take care of myself better."

Rizzo said he began experiencing back tightness last Monday. He tried to play through the discomfort before missing the last three games of the team's series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Tuesday's 8-5 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"Usually it's July, August, September," Rizzo noted of past back concerns. "You mentally grind through it, and as long as you can move, you can play. This is one of those things where we talked and I don't want to be locked up for the entire year. Hopefully, we put a nip to it the next five days and don't have to deal with it."

Manager Joe Maddon, meanwhile, said Tuesday he wants Rizzo to lessen his work in the batting cages:

"I still believe guys swing too much. I came here this morning and I'm hearing cracks of the bat down the hallways in the batting cage. I don't think Billy [Williams] did that, I don't think [Ron] Santo did that, I don't think Ernie [Banks] did that. They probably didn't have a batting cage to do that in.

"With Anthony, I'm trying to convince him to back off—no pun intended—a little bit, because swinging too often can exaggerate the issue. If more swings were the answer, everybody would hit .300."

Rizzo, 28, is hitting just .107 with a homer and three RBI in six games this season. He's generally been healthy in his time with the Cubs, playing 155 or more contests in five of the past six years. He's hit 30 or more homers in four straight seasons and 100 or more RBI in three straight years.

Suffice to say, Rizzo has been a consistent slugger and key component in the middle of Chicago's lineup in recent years, and any back issues are a concern. His stint on the disabled list is retroactive to Friday.    

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