Chicago Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo is hoping to be ready for Opening Day.
Opening Day for the 2020 MLB season is a little over a week away, and the Chicago Cubs are getting ready to compete for the NL Central crown. However, there was some concern out of the Windy City, as first baseman Anthony Rizzo has been absent for camp for the past week.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Rizzo had undergone an MRI, which determined that he’s currently dealing with rib head inflammation that’s causing back spasms in his lower back. When speaking with the media, Rizzo revealed that he’s hopeful that he won’t start the season on the injured list.
Rizzo dealing with a tricky back injury.
Throughout his career, Rizzo has dealt with a variety of back issues, mostly minor, that has caused him to miss games. With the 2020 campaign vastly approaching, the best way to know if he’ll be ready is once we see him taking some hacks in the batters’ box during summer camp.
This season is very important for Rizzo, as he has a club option clause in his current contract at the end of this season. Yet, it’s unknown whether the Cubs will pick up the option, or opt to potentially move on from Rizzo, given their desire to free up payroll.
Last season, Rizzo recorded a .293 batting average and .924 OPS, along with 27 home runs and 94 RBI.
If in the likelihood that Rizzo isn’t ready for Opening Day, expect manager David Ross to pivot to starting Victor Caratini, who’s listed behind Rizzo on MLB.com’s official depth chart. Through 95 games last season, Caratini slashed .266/.348/.447 while hitting 11 homers and 34 RBI.
Rizzo is hopeful to be ready, but as anyone who’s dealt with back injuries knows, there’s no definitive time table for recovery.