8/31 Cubs notes: Rizzo, Jackson and more
The Cubs hope first baseman Anthony Rizzo can return to the lineup Monday after missing five days because of tightness in his lower back. Rizzo has not played since he was pulled from last Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati when his back tightned up during a rain delay.
“He’s still day to day,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Sunday. “He came in [Saturday] and wanted to play. We have to make sure we’re prudent and playing this smart. We’ll give him another day and when we get back, we’ll see how he’s doing.”
* Edwin Jackson threw a light bullpen session on Saturday, and the Cubs are continuing to monitor the right-hander’s progress. Jackson has been on the disabled list since Aug. 21 with a right lat strain.
“We’ll continue to monitor and see how he’s doing,” Renteria said. “We haven’t set any hard dates. We’ll see how he progresses and continue to make adjustments.”
* The Cubs have yet to sort out their six-man rotation. Felix Doubront, who picked up the win in his first start with the Cubs on Saturday, will be inserted into the mix for the final month. The Cubs have an off day Thursday, and have yet to announce who will start a three-game series against the Pirates, which opens on Friday at Wrigley Field.
* The Cubs will likely add one relief pitcher on Monday when rosters expand, then call up a few more players once Triple-A Iowa’s season is over. Iowa failed to make the playoffs, and will play its last regular season game Monday against Oklahoma City.
* It isn’t often that a visiting player catches a ceremonial first pitch, but Cubs hitting coach Bill Mueller did just that on Sunday. Mueller was behind the plate to catch a pitch from retiring DeSmet high school coach Greg Vitello. Vitello was Mueller’s coach, and is retiring after 35 years as the baseball coach.
— Carrie Muskat