Rondon decision on WBC participation looms for Cubs

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Hector Rondon pitches during last year’s World Series.

The Cubs should know by midweek whether their biggest potential World Baseball Classic concern will be an issue this spring.

That’s when Hector Rondon, who’s a big part of the Cubs’ late-inning setup crew, expects to decide whether he’ll join Team Venezuela.

“Right now I feel good, but I have to get a couple innings in before I’ll know,” Rondon said before making his spring debut with a scoreless inning against the Dodgers. He gave up two hits, including a double, but got a double play and a strikeout.

Rizzo on tap for Tuesday

First baseman Anthony Rizzo is expected to rejoin the lineup Tuesday against Team Italy after being sidelined since Thursday because of stiffness in his lower back.

Rizzo took batting practice Saturday and looked at full strength, hitting several balls over the right-field fence.


The Cubs raised more than $50,000 for Maddon’s annual hair-buzzing “Respect Bald” event to benefit pediatric cancer research.

About $40,000 came from veteran players financially arm-twisting long-locked prospects Pierce Johnson and Taylor Davis into getting their first short cuts in years.

“It’s too hard to say no with that kind of pot out there,” Johnson said. “I’m glad I could be a part of it.”

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