Rizzo Takes WrigleyWednesday, June 27, 2012
“I’m here to stay,” new Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told beat writer Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune when he arrived at Wrigley Field on Tuesday afternoon.
And we have little reason to doubt the kid's confidence.
Rizzo was batting .342/.405/.696 with 23 home runs, 18 doubles and 62 RBI in just 284 plate appearances for Triple-A Iowa at the time of his late-Monday call-up and finished 2-for-4 with a sharply-struck infield single and an RBI double in his debut for the Cubs on Tuesday night -- a 5-3 defeat of the visiting Mets.
Rizzo is already a polished defender at first base and certainly seems ready to be a legitimate offensive threat in the major leagues at the ripe age of 22. He deserves to be owned in all NL-only fantasy leagues and most mixed formats given his power potential and homer-friendly home park.
Sure, power-hitting first basemen are a dime a dozen. But Rizzo’s talents extend beyond the mundane.
Drew Finally Ready To Rejoin Snakes
Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew hasn’t appeared in a major league game since July 20, 2011 because of a fractured right ankle. He was supposed to be ready for Opening Day this April, but a few minor setbacks leading up to the start of spring training caused Arizona's medical team to torch that plan.
Now let’s go ahead and fast forward nearly three months.
Drew is scheduled to return to Arizona’s starting lineup on Wednesday evening against the Braves after a long and arduous rehab process that included a number of physical roadblocks and publicized questions from upper management about the 29-year-old’s motivation (or lack thereof) to make a swift return.
With that stuff firmly in the past, Drew will look to get his career on the right track heading into free agency this winter. The 29-year-old batted just .252/.317/.396 with five home runs in 86 games last season, but he carries a .773 career OPS -- which is pretty solid for a shortstop -- and he’s flashed 20-homer power in seasons past.
Drew needs to be added in all mixed fantasy leagues, considering the scarcity of value at the position he plays.
Friars Bringing Back A Fired-Up Cashner
The Padres sent hard-throwing setup man Andrew Cashner down to Double-A Tucson on June 10 and asked that he return as a reliable big league starter. Mission accomplished. Er, somewhat. Almost.
Cashner posted a superb 1.88 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio across 14 1/3 innings at the Double-A level, and will be called back to the major leagues on Thursday for a start against the light-hitting Astros.
The 25-year-old right-hander possesses a fastball that has averaged an outrageous 98.8 mph this year in the majors and a slider and changeup that work well as complementary pitches to that heat. He should post some rather gaudy numbers while making half his starts in the cavernous confines of Petco Park and is obviously worth owning in pretty much all mixed fantasy leagues.
National League Quick Hits: Diamondbacks right-hander Daniel Hudson left Tuesday’s start against the Braves with elbow discomfort and could be out for an extended period of time … Giancarlo Stanton is up to 17 home runs … Ryan Howard could begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday … Reds closer Aroldis Chapman bounced back to collect his ninth save Tuesday night against the Brewers … Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie hit his 14th home run of the season in Tuesday’s defeat of the Padres … Ike Davis was ejected Tuesday night after making contact with first base umpire Manny Gonzalez while arguing a pickoff call. He could face a small suspension … Ryan Zimmerman has tallied three extra-base hits since getting a cortisone shot Sunday in his right shoulder … Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz raised his season batting line to .361/.427/.579 with Tuesday’s 3-for-4 effort against the Pirates … Adam LaRoche slugged his 14th and 15th home runs on Tuesday night in a win over the Rockies … Bud Norris (knee) is scheduled to return to the Astros’ starting rotation on Friday … Diamondbacks outfielder Jason Kubel is batting .298/.371/.518 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI … The Rockies placed infielder Hector Gomez on waivers … Yadier Molina already has 12 home runs this season and is just two short of his career high … Brian Schneider is out 3-5 weeks with a badly-sprained right ankle … The Brewers are likely to shop Zack Greinke if they can’t sign him to an extension before the July 31 trade deadline.
American League Quick Hits: Rangers closer Joe Nathan collected his 17th save of the season in Tuesday’s win over the Tigers … Josh Beckett (shoulder) has been cleared to rejoin the Red Sox rotation on Saturday against the Mariners … Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings is no longer wearing a brace on his knee and is beginning to steal more bases … Gavin Floyd hurled seven shutout innings Tuesday in a victory against the Twins … Nick Markakis (hand) has been ruled out through the All-Star break … Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz has been diagnosed with esophagitis and is out indefinitely … Martin Perez is a candidate to start for the Rangers on Saturday against Oakland … An MRI taken Tuesday on Henderson Alvarez’s right elbow showed only inflammation … Yu Darvish has 106 strikeouts through his first 95 1/3 major league innings … Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted his 14th home run of 2012 in Tuesday’s defeat of the Blue Jays … Adam Lind went 2-for-4 in his return to Toronto's’ starting lineup on Tuesday … White Sox closer Addison Reed is up to 10 saves … Phil Hughes tossed eight scoreless innings Tuesday night against the Indians … Jamie Moyer’s minor league contract with the Blue Jays only guarantees him two minor league starts … Grady Sizemore (back, knee) still hasn’t resumed running … The Rangers placed Colby Lewis on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right forearm … Kosuke Fukudome was released by the White Sox … Russell Martin (back) is aiming to return to the Yankees’ starting lineup Wednesday ... The Indians are expecting Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) to return to the majors soon.