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Anthony Rizzo ‘feeling OK’ after dealing with lower-back tightness

Rizzo was not in the Cubs’ starting lineup Wednesday against the Nationals.

“He’s day-to-day,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Anthony Rizzo. “He came in to see the trainers. I think it just makes sense to just make sure everything’s fine.”
“He’s day-to-day,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Anthony Rizzo. “He came in to see the trainers. I think it just makes sense to just make sure everything’s fine.”
Paul Sancya/AP

With Anthony Rizzo’s history, there’s always some concern when he has an issue with his back. But it looks like serious trouble was avoided this time.

Rizzo left in the fifth inning of the Cubs’ 6-3 victory Tuesday with tightness in his lower back and was out of the lineup Wednesday as he continued to get treatment. Kris Bryant started at first base in his place.

“He’s day-to-day,” manager David Ross said. “He came in to see the trainers. I think it just makes sense to make sure everything’s fine.

‘‘He’ll get his treatment and kind of start moving around, go through his whole routine, and we’ll keep tabs on that and make sure he’s progressing in the right way. But I think he feels OK.”

Higgins up from Iowa; Wolters DFA’d

The Cubs called up catcher P.J. Higgins before the game against the Nationals. Catcher Tony Wolters was designated for assignment to make room on the active and 40-man roster for Higgins. Wolters hit .125 in 15 games with the Cubs.

It’s Higgins’ first time in the big leagues. He made a strong impression on the Cubs in spring training with his improvement at the plate, his ability to handle a pitching staff and his game-calling. Higgins, 28, was in consideration to break camp with the team.

“With some of the things we have going on, [Higgins] just gives us a little more versatility from the backup-catcher role,” Ross said. “He’s played some middle infield and did a nice job catching. He’s very versatile. You know, contact-type bat. I think it’s just time. We’ve liked him for a long time, and his skill set really fits us right now.’’

Besides his catching skills, Higgins is regarded as one of the organization’s best defensive third basemen. With Bryant moving around the field defensively, having another player who can handle multiple positions gives Higgins some added value.

“He’s a phenomenal third baseman,” Ross said. “They rave about his defense in the infield. He’s a really good catcher. I like the way he handled the pitching staff and the game-calling and the preparation at the back end of spring training.

“I’m happy for him. He’s put in a lot of hard work. He’s a guy that the organization thinks highly of. When you talk to the coaches that have seen this young man come up through the minor leagues, it’s nothing but positive statements about who he is, how he plays and how he goes about his business.’’