A’s assistant general manager David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that Josh Donaldson would get the first shot at replacing Scott Sizemore (knee surgery) at third base.
It’s still early, and regular-season playing time is rarely dictated by spring training stats, but the 26-year-old former catcher is not off to a good start.
Donaldson went hitless in Saturday’s spring exhibition game against the Mariners and is now 0-for-7 with three strikeouts since the opening of Cactus League play. Eric Sogard, who might be next in line for playing time at the hot corner, went 2-for-4 in Saturday’s game and homered in his debut Friday.
Donaldson batted .261/.344/.439 with 17 homers and 70 RBI in 115 games last year at Triple-A Sacramento.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.