There wasn’t much to hang your hat on, but at least two good and fun things happened during the baseball shutdown: (1) Ian Happ became an incredibly outspoken, thoughtful, enjoyable voice for the Cubs and for baseball, and (2) Anthony Rizzo dropped a whopping 25 pounds.
Those two good and fun things came together this afternoon as Cubs players got to work. Not only was Rizzo there and showing off the new shredded physique, but Happ was taking note and dropping compliments:
Happ on Rizzo slimmer physique (2/2):
"Very nice to see him downsizing. He looks absolutely wonderful. His pop right now, I don’t want to oversell it, but his pop right now is — he’s strong; he’s very strong." https://t.co/mtHaYQ4ZO5
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 3, 2020
Rizzo says he was already in good shape coming into Spring Training, but when things shut down, he knew he was either going to use that time to beef up way too much, or focus on grinding (NBCSC). So he and quality assurance coach Mike Napoli held each other accountable, and each lost 25 pounds over the past few months.
Rizzo really does look impressively fit:
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) July 3, 2020
And to the extent you have any concerns about weight loss and a drop in power, don’t worry. Yes, some heft and mass and muscle helps with a little extra distance, but mostly it’s about bat speed, barreling, and the angle at contact. Generally, when a guy gets more fit, it’s a good thing across the board, including work at the plate and overall health throughout the season.