Anthony Rizzo could be promoted any day now, as it’s believed the Cubs have waited long enough to delay his free agency until after the 2018 season, but he won’t be called up this weekend.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum confirmed as much in comments to Jose M. Romero of CSNChicago.com yesterday and was non-committal when asked whether the 22-year-old first baseman would join the team when they return home Monday to face the Mets.
“I don’t know if there’s a date on it,” Sveum said. “It’s obvious he’s coming soon but we don’t have a date yet.”
Meanwhile, Rizzo continues to rake with Triple-A Iowa. He went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBI last night and is hitting .355/.416/.722 with 23 home runs, 62 RBI and a 1.138 OPS through 67 games. Bryan LaHair is expected to make the move to right field upon Rizzo’s arrival.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.