Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is going to be in a walking boot for the next week and then the team will determine the next steps in his recovery after suffering an ankle sprain on Sunday.
At this point it looks doubtful that Rizzo will return this season.
So, the Cubs now have to rely on their bench to replace Rizzo. It’s not just his offense and presence at the leadoff spot that they’ll miss, but Rizzo’s defense too.
Expect to see a lot of Victor Caratini and some of Ian Happ at first base during the next few weeks. Caratini is getting the start tonight against the Reds, while Ben Zobrist goes back to leadoff.
When Yu Darvish starts, Caratini will catch and that’s when Happ and other options will fill in at first base. A few guys who won’t be starting in place of Rizzo, though, are Kris Bryant and Zobrist.
Just one thing. Jonathan Lucroy should not be starting ANY game at ANY position down the stretch unless there’s another injury to one of the Cubs catchers.
As for Zobirst, Maddon will be managing his playing time like he did with Chris Coghlan.
The Cubs have seven games left in their home stand before ending the regular season on a six-game road trip in Pittsburgh and St. Louis.