Anthony Rizzo leaves game with back spasms

Written By BY SETH GRUEN Staff Reporter Posted: 04/20/2014, 02:38am
Array MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 24: Edwin Jackson #36 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Photo Day on Monday, February 24, 2014 at Cubs Park in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Edwin Jackson

First baseman Anthony Rizzo said he began feeling back spasms Friday and they worsened during the Cubs’ victory over the Reds on Saturday. He was pulled from the game to start the eighth inning.

Rizzo said the spasms are nothing serious and he has experienced them before.

“I probably expect to wake up a little sore tomorrow, but I would say nothing to keep me out of the lineup,” he said.

Rizzo had to dive on three consecutive 3-1 putouts in the seventh inning Friday. He said the spasms were exacerbated when he had to leap to grab a pickoff throw Saturday.

Cubs manager Rick Renteria said the team will evaluate Rizzo on Sunday morning. Rizzo anticipated the spasms would lessen in a day or two.

Arrieta close to return

Though starting pitcher Jake Arrieta has been the beneficiary of less disciplined minor-league hitters in his rehab starts, he still believes he’s where he should be in his recovery from tightness in his right shoulder.

Arrieta plans to make one more start with Class A Daytona on Monday. It will be his fourth rehab start.

“[The plan is to] get out there and get up to 100 pitches, kind of fine-tune and refine some things, and hopefully that will be the last stop,” he said.

Arrieta said he consistently threw his fastball in the low to mid-90s in his last start. But that doesn’t mean anyone should expect him to be in top condition when he makes his first big-league start of the season.

“I don’t think that I’ll be 100 percent until I get here, get in a game and pitch at that intensity for the first time,” Arrieta said. “I’m right where I need to be right now.”

Three pitches, three outs

Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson tossed a three-pitch third inning Saturday. He gave up a hit to Billy Hamilton on the first pitch of the inning but induced a 4-6-3 double play on the next pitch to Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips grounded out to Jackson to end the inning.

It was the first time a Cub had a three-pitch inning since Randy Wells did it Sept. 25, 2011, against the Cardinals.

Jackson (1-1) earned his first victory of the season, allowing two runs and eight hits in 52/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.


Twitter: @SethGruen

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