There has been plenty of frustration on the fans’ side of things in regard to the delays with the Wrigley Field renovations, but the players are also unhappy. According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said yesterday that he’s “sick of” hearing undelivered promises from the Cubs and would like to see some action.
“I’ve only been here a few years and guys before me have heard it before – changes were going to happen,” Rizzo said. “I don’t know what’s going on. Obviously, it’s not my job to do it. Obviously, we all want it. But when guys are promised that things are going to happen and they don’t happen, they’re not happy about it.
“Now it’s just kind of: ‘OK, when it gets done, it gets done.’ We’re not going to have our hopes up for anything.”
“We’ll have all the top-notch stuff and the new clubhouse is going to be the best in the game,” Rizzo said. “I know we’re going to do everything first-class, because that’s the way the organization is. It’s just that we’re kind of sick of hearing it’s going to be done. We just want to see it get done.”
Former Cub and now Padre pitcher Andrew Cashner recently referred to Wrigley Field a “dump,” which was a harsh way of saying that the facilities are super-outdated for the players. Of course, this isn’t particularly surprising given that the stadium opened in 1914. While the original plans called for the Cubs to have a bigger and more modern clubhouse by Opening Day this year, the new target date is 2016.
Rizzo is owed $41 million from the Cubs through 2019, so there’s a good chance he’ll eventually see some action to go along with the promises. Maybe. Someday.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.