CHICAGO – Anthony Rizzo, the Chicago Cubs top prospect will join the team and make his 2012 debut Tuesday night against the New York Mets. The power hitting first baseman will likely start and face Mets starter Dillon Gee. Rizzo is batting .342 with a Pacific Coast-leading 23 home runs and 62 RBIs, good for third in the league.
The Cubs have been cautious in the development of Rizzo. Cubs president Theo Epstein had previously stated that he wanted Rizzo to play 162 games in AAA before being recalled. Monday’s game was the hundred and 163rd.
Rizzo played in the major leagues with the San Diego Padres last year. In 49 games he batted just .141 with one home run, nine RBI and a .242 slugging percentage. Cubs manager Dale Sveum confirmed that Rizzo will immediately become the everyday first baseman. Rizzo was acquired from the Padres for Andrew Cashner last winter.
Rizzo was also involved in a multiplayer deal centered around Adrian Gonzalez before last season. That deal was made by Epstein. Because Rizzo played 49 games for the Padres last year, the Cubs had to wait at least until June 23 to avoid giving him enough service time to move his arbitration and free agency clocks up one year.