By Jose M. Romero
PHOENIX If Cubs manager Dale Sveum thought he could put the Anthony Rizzo talk on ice for a few days while his team played a weekend series in Arizona after Sveum said the star prospect wouldnt join the club here he thought wrong.
Sveum fielded more questions about Rizzo before Saturdays game. Asked what expectations would be on Rizzo when he arrives, Sveum said part of the process the Cubs are trying to implement is to fill the organization with young players like Rizzo.
Sveum said the only player with close to the kind of hype generated for Rizzo that he has experienced was Ryan Braun when Sveum was coaching in Milwaukee. Braun didnt play as many minor-league games as Rizzo before coming up.
I dont think that Ive really been around anybody thats had this much hype getting ready to come up, Sveum said of Rizzo. Just being around him for the 30 days or so in spring training, he seemed to be a guy that was very ahead of the game maturity-wise. He has all those leadership skills and those kind of things. I think we all have to be a little bit patient and understand that the game is a lot different here than it is in Triple-A.
Sveum was asked if he was anxious to put Rizzo in the batting order, and said it would be nice to have extra firepower in the lineup.
When you just have threats that can hit home runs at any given time, its always nice to have those kind of guys in the lineup, Sveum said.
Also from Sveum before Saturdays game against the Arizona Diamondbacks:
-Its not fair for fans and observers to demand that Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano return to his 40-40 (home run and stolen base) days, or even close to it, from the past decade, Sveum said. When you get to that age (Soriano is 36) not too many people are 40-40 after 35 years old, it just doesnt happen, Sveum said, noting stolen bases in particular. Its unrealistic to think that someones going to be what they were at 25 years old, especially the stuff he was doing.