When spring training began in February in Mesa, Ariz., Albert Almora told Anthony Rizzo that he was considered for Cub's leadoff spot.
"I was like," Hi, I can lead you this year, you have to learn, "Almora said." He said, "I is the world's best leadoff hitter." " "Greatest Leading Hitter of All Time" where Rizzo was hanging on himself in June 2017 after homering to lead first innings in his first two matches at that place. He became the player, even though it ended after 14 matches. Rizzo went back to life in the three hole, and the world returned to normalism, at least baseballvis.
But on Monday, the world turned upside down again when Rizzo released his repertoire and relegated for the first time in his career and retirement AJ Pollock on a fly to downtown Cubs 7-1
What's next? Catch?
"No, no," said Rizzo. "Just keep being a better hitter, focus my attention to beating and defending. "
After the prisoner Victor Car Atini struck in the eighth, Rizzo ran into the clubhouse and joked to reporter Kelly Crull that he would quit if manager Joe Maddon did not let him throw in the ninth. Maddon said Friday that Rizzo had injured him to lay for a while, and on Monday he finally entered.
"He knew I only gave him an eye," said Rizzo. "When he came out, I just said," Joe, I promise I will not blow. ""
Unfortunately, Rizzo did not get the ball, as he said Javier Baez threw into the stand.
But now that the bucket list has been met, it's back to the leadoff place for Rizzo.
When Maddon began auditioning leadoff men in the spring of Arizona, Rizzo insisted that he would not put his hat in the ring, despite striking five homers and compiling a 1,053 OPS in 50 balls leading out in 2017. "The Supreme Time "rested on their laurels.
"I'm not a leadoff hitter," he said. "I'm a first baseman."
But there we were on Monday in the Game 99 of the 2018 season, and it was Rizzo back in his now-known place and continued a saga without end in sight. Heading in Monday's loss, where he went 1 to 4, hit Rizzo at .516 in the peak and had a .658 on-base percentage at current residence. His slash line over his first 23 career begins batting first was .378 / .471 / .732 with a 1,202 OPS.
It was obvious that Rizzo was built for the job, even at 6 feet-3 and 240 pounds. Maddon also started calling Rizzo Rickey Henderson, considered the most real leadoff hitter ever with a .401 OBP, 2,244 runs and 1,384 stolen bases from the top. Of course, Henderson led 2 285 games over his Hall of Fame career, so Rizzo has a way to go to capture him.
But all good things must come to a Maddon said before Monday's match, he will eventually move Rizzo down where he belongs, which basically means the third hole.
"I think so," Maddon said. "Right now, it's hard to do it. We do many runs, and he is given a lot of energy at the top of the batting scheme. He likes it. And Javy (Baez) has done so well to drive him in, it's hard to get him away from it. "
Monday was the ninth straight game Rizzo has left since Maddon made the move on July 13th in San Diego. When Rizzo broke out of a 0 to 21 fall with three hits in a 5-4 victory over Padres, Maddon that it should ride.
Rizzo was so eager to bathe, he almost pushed the other day before calling back to the dugout from the circle on the deck.
"He says he is the greatest all the time, and he Maddon has been trying eight hitters in the lead this year, including Kris Bryant (seven games), Baez (two) Willson Contreras (one). Rizzo has been the most productive, but Almora is a much better choice for left-handers.
Would it be a bad idea to leave Rizzo there for the rest of the year?
Probably. is to watch Rizzo pretend to be the biggest leadoff h Itter all the time, we know it's a small sample size and it's doubtful he could keep it up for a whole season. The whole idea was to get him out of his fall, and Maddon succeeded in that regard.
"There is no horror," Maddon said about Rizzo's experience. "I'm just doing this, so okay, I'm ready to hit."
"I think one thing in a hole he tries to get to the base. He definitely thinks he needs to be a table star. His batsor has been very patient and he uses the whole field. So when we move him back I think that There are many benefits to what he is doing right now. "
Rizzo said he likes to be free and does not know when it will end.
"What Joe thinks is the best, he said." I want to go to the base as much as possible for the guys, and I usually come up with guys in bigger situations. Continue keep rolling with it, and whatever happens happens. … It's a bat and it seems to work, so we ride out. "
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