Cubs manager Joe Maddon kept first baseman Anthony Rizzo out of the starting lineup Sunday. Meanwhile, a more planned day off might be coming soon for shortstop Javy Baez.
After his back tightened up during the 15-inning marathon Saturday, Rizzo wasn’t in the starting lineup for the series finale against the Brewers. Rizzo, who kept trying to stretch his back Saturday, was available to pinch-hit, and the Cubs were planning to see how he feels after their day off Monday.
Rizzo texted Maddon on Sunday to tell him about the issue. After a phone call between the two, Rizzo went to Wrigley Field to try to loosen up, but his back didn’t respond well enough for him to be in the lineup.
‘‘Been there, done that before,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘It’s not like it’s a surprise to anybody. The first time it’s a little bit more stressful, thinking that it might be something more serious.’’
As for Baez, he has played in all 38 games but might be getting a breather soon. Maddon said he’s ‘‘trying to work on that right now,’’ regardless of Rizzo.
‘‘It’s one of those things you’ve got to do, regardless,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I’m looking at some different things on the back side of the day off right now.’’
With Rizzo out, Kris Bryant started at first base.
Daniel Descalso made his first start since May 4. He batted seventh, played second base and went 0-for-3.
Descalso had a minor issue with his left ankle but didn’t go on the injured list. He had been 0-for-5 in six appearances as a pinch hitter since his last start.
‘‘He’s hit some balls decently as a pinch hitter, but I just wanted to bring him back slowly,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I do like him there. That 7-hole has a tendency to get people on base. He’s been doing a great job there, too.’’
Edwards getting back
Since his recall May 6, reliever Carl Edwards Jr. has thrown three scoreless innings. Maddon said he’s seeing Edwards throw with a more repeatable delivery.
‘‘He’s not worried about trying to be so deceptive; he’s being a little more natural,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘Just being Carl. Not trying to do all those little different histrionic things with his foot. Just pitching.’’
Edwards also isn’t trying to be so fine with his pitches, which is fine with Maddon.
‘‘He’ll know when he’s able to dot it up,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘But if you’re trying to dot it up and you’re not really there, don’t try that. I’d much prefer him to just attack in strike mode with his stuff, as opposed to try to be this finely tuned guy that’s always nibbling at corners. That’s not who he is.’’
Addison Russell, who entered the game at second as part of a double switch in the seventh inning, is 1-for-8 since rejoining the Cubs after his 40-game suspension for domestic abuse. Maddon said he has seen some ‘‘really good passes’’ from Russell, but his timing isn’t quite right.
Defensively, Maddon said Russell is up to speed.