Meanwhile, the anti-Cub establishment (led by blogging counterpart, PV) has chosen to try to amplify “soreness” into an “injury” somehow, taking their own form of sick pleasure in the idea that the prodigy could really be hurt. That doesn’t appear to be the case as it has only been described soreness, not an injury despite PV’s desperate attempts to try to convince himself it is on Facebook. It makes one question the motivation of any Sox fan who is so concerned about Cubs’ affairs on any level, good or bad. Different strokes, I guess.
Either way, the hysteria over Rizzo’s impending call-up or lack-thereof is getting way out of hand (pardon the pun). Let me state this clearly so the frenzied masses can understand: Rizzo is NOT going to save the 2012 Cubs. Period. We knew from Day One of the Theo Epstein Era that this would be a lost season. It should surprise no one that this team is struggling. Calling up a red-hot Rizzo (batting .354 with 17 HRs and 46 RBI in 48 games) now does neither him, nor the Cubs any favors.
We all saw how the 22-year old struggled when called up too soon by then-Padres’ and current-Cubs’ GM, Jed Hoyer last season. Hoyer has clearly learned from his mistake and know’s better than anyone that there’s simply no reason to rush Rizzo up to the big leagues where the youngster may struggle to deal with major league pitching on a losing team again.
And what would be the point for this Cubs team who is destined to lose 90+ games this year? How many more games does Rizzo potentially help them win? Four? Maybe five? In the grand scheme of things, who cares if this team wins 75 vs. 70 games? I certainly don’t.
But the elephant in the room is Rizzo’s arbitration clock. Yes, there’s a significant business aspect to this [GASP!]. I hate to break it to those bright-eyed, naive fans who refuse to acknowledge that baseball is a business. It’s BIG business and allowing Rizzo’s arbitration clock to begin ticking again prematurely would be BAD business. Calling him up for a meaningless season could mean the Cubs won’t have him when the time finally comes when they are in a position to be competitive again.
The most logical thing for the Cubs to do would be to wait until September to bring him up so they can control him one extra year. It’s also possible they could bring him up for interleague play when he could DH, possibly against the Twins June 8-10 or the White Sox June 18-20 and then send him back down to Triple-A until September and not lose a valuable controllable year. But I’d rather see them just wait until September and not jerk the kid around.
In the meantime, I want to call for all Cubs fans (and those few sadistic Sox fans out there—you know who you are) to keep your composure. One thing is certain, Rizzo will be called up one day. And good things come to those who wait…