Rizzo and Youuuuuuk
The Cubs may have hired Theo Epstein last October, but the real era under his management begins tonight. Just two months after taking over the Cubs organization, Epstein and new Cubs GM Jed Hoyer made Anthony Rizzo the center piece of a trade with San Diego that sent Andrew Cashner to the Friars. It was the first major move that signaled a new philosophy to build the Cubs from the ground up.
Last season Rizzo dominated in AAA Tucson, hitting 26 HR’s in just 93 games. He struggled though after being called up by the Padres, hitting just .141 in 153 plate appearances. This year he has again crushed AAA pitching. Playing for the Iowa Cubs, Rizzo is hitting .342 with 23 HR’s in 70 games.
So tonight he gets called up to start at first base and hit third. Barring injury, I expect Rizzo to be in the lineup everyday for the remainder of the season regardless of how he hits.
Cubs fans are hoping that tonight is the first of twenty-five hundred or so that Rizzo will play at first over the next two decades. **No Pressure**
The Sox made a nice trade Sunday afternoon. They traded Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart to the Boston Red Sox for Kevin Youkilis and cash. Considering that the White Sox were getting the worst production of any team at the third base position, Youkilis just has to be on the field for him to be a major upgrade for Chicago. Of course that has always been an issue for Youk. Youkilis has played just 136, 120, and 102 games the last three years. This year he played in 42 of Boston’s 72 games before the trade.
One interesting thing about the trade of Youkilis, it feels like Boston was sort of dumping to the White Sox. After all, Boston is last in the AL East and the White Sox are in first in the AL Central. But here is the crazy thing, both teams have the same record, 38-35.