I am bummed to say that, for family reasons (nothing terribly serious, thanks in advance for the concerns), I can no longer come to Chicago today/tomorrow, so I won’t be making tonight’s game or tomorrow’s. I’ll have to watch RizzOMG from afar, which will do, pig. It’ll do.
- Speaking of Rizzo, Anthony offered the first of what I hope will be many magnificent quotes as a member of the Cubs, when asked by Randy Peterson if he had a message for Cubs’ fans about his call-up: “I want to tell them that there’s going to be good times, and that there will be bad times. Hopefully there will be times I’m a hero. There will be times that I’m the villain. That’s the nature of the game, and that goes for every baseball player.” That reminds me of a Carlos Pena quote, and I loved me a Carlos Pena quote. I can also see the posters now – dark, Rizzo holding a bat, looking badass, with the caption: “Sometimes I’m the Villain.” Maybe it’s a set, with a lighter version, “Sometimes I’m the Hero.” Get on it, photoshoppers.
- Alfonso Soriano says he hopes Rizzo hits behind him, because then Rizzo will get better pitches to hit (er, doesn’t Soriano mean he, himself, would see better pitches? Unless Soriano is saying he gets on base so often that the pitcher will have to stay around the zone with Rizzo … but, like, nah … ). I think we’ll probably see either Rizzo-Soriano-LaHair, or, more likely, LaHair-Soriano-Rizzo going 3-4-5. Then again, Sveum has said he’d like to see Rizzo have some protection behind him, so we’ll see.
- On the injury front, Ian Stewart is hitting off a tee, and is eligible to come off the disabled list later this week. There is no word on whether he’ll actually return by then, though. As for Ryan Dempster, he’s expected to miss one more start, after today, which would line him up to make just one start before the All-Star break. Seems odd for Dempster to miss such a long time with a lat “injury” that no one is even willing to call a strain or soreness, but the whole thing has been odd. Dempster did manage to throw off of flat ground yesterday with no discomfort.
- As Anthony Rizzo comes up to the big club, Brett Jackson remains at Iowa, working on his contact issues. Dale Sveum has taken note: “The strikeouts are at an incredible rate, which is a little bit strange …. That’s a very strange stat in that category [to have an .832 OPS, but still be striking out so much]. Unless you’re Adam Dunn.”
- Fluff on Tony Campana getting more playing time.
- Bryan LaHair says he’s ready to step aside (into the outfield) for Anthony Rizzo.
- Details on Travis Wood’s helmet mishap last night (h/t TCR). More on Wood’s performance later.