Padres officially promote Anthony Rizzo to the major leagues

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As expected, the Padres have promoted top prospect Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Tucson and written his name into the starting lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Nationals.

Rizzo is batting seventh in his major league debut.

The 21-year-old first baseman forced his way to the majors at a far quicker pace than expected by batting .365/.444/.715 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI over 52 games this season at Triple-A.

Padres manager Bud Black confirmed to reporters Thursday that Rizzo will serve as the team’s primary first baseman going forward. Convinced that he has the goods offensively, they didn’t want to ease him in.

The Padres optioned outfielder Aaron Cunningham to Triple-A Tucson to clear a spot on the 25-man roster. Eric Patterson was also designated for assignment with Will Venable returning to the major leagues.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.